New film explores outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame

Thu May 20, 2010 7:14am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - "Fair Game" tells the real-life story of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, focusing on how the scandal nearly cost a marriage, undermined friendships and endangered lives of people who had helped the United States.

Plame is played by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn takes on the role of her husband Joseph Wilson, whose criticism of the U.S. justification for war in Iraq in 2003 was swiftly followed by the leak of Plame's identity for which a White House official was investigated.

The movie, which was well received at a press screening at the Cannes film festival on Thursday despite a handful of boos, is directed by Doug Liman, who made "The Bourne Identity" and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith".

Plame, in Cannes for a nuclear proliferation documentary in which she featured, told Reuters earlier in the festival that she was glad to have her story told on the big screen. Fair Game is based on her memoirs of the same name.

"It's an accurate representation of what we went through and it tells the story hopefully as a cautionary tale to public officials who would seek to use their office for their own partisan agenda," she said.


The movie opens with Plame on an undercover operation in Malaysia, where she ensnares the nephew of a powerful businessman who is believed to have links to a terrorist group.

As the narrative unfolds, news footage from the U.S. air strikes on Afghanistan in 2001 and the increasingly vocal U.S. support for war on Iraq plays in the background, putting the movie into the context of actual events.   Continued...

<p>(R to L) Producer Diane Weyermann, Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan, Director Lucy Walker, actress Meg Ryan, and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Bruntland pose during a photocall for the film "Countdown to zero" at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, May 16, 2010. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier</p>