The real world of spies

Originally published at: The real world of spies | Boing Boing


If a spy gets noticed, they’re not much of a spy.

I wish there were more movies that showed actual spycraft. There’s always The Americans, though.


Barring a few movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy , very few realistic spies are presented on film.

From the start to the end, le Carre showed the true face of espionage: boring, sordid, toxic to one’s non-work relationships, psychologically wearing.

I have a distant relation who was an actual double-agent, a scholar of the target country who was then turned by them after being sent there as a spy. Our family still laughs about the story of my great-grandmother travelling to visit him in prison after he was caught specifically to berate him.


So why is this video discussion limited to “white folks” from developed countries? For sure there must be spy stories from Africa, Asia, or South America for example.


Here’s a good one. (Eli Cohen was skillfully portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen in the limited series “The Spy.”)

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And New Jersey, don’t forget about those wild eyed evil New J’s.

I’m also in mind of Yoji Yamada’s The Hidden Blade (based on short stories by Shuhei Fujisawa), with its political intrigue and elements I won’t divulge because spoilers.


I was in my early teens when I started reading Ian Fleming novels. Even then, I wondered how James Bond, driving his rare Bentley sportster, could remain inconspicuous. He should have had a rusty Morris Minor.


His “cover” was “millionaire playboy”, though it helps if the government is not funding that sort of thing.

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