JxJ Advance Screening: "Engrossing" Spy Documentary and Special Guests

By JxJ August 1, 2023
Film still from documentary feature "A Compassionate Spy"

Advance Screening – limited run

A Compassionate Spy

Dir. Steve James | 101 min
Documentary, United States, 2023

Engrossing…a first-rate portrait”

Phil Hoad, The Guardian

The youngest physicist on the Manhattan Project, Ted Hall didn’t share his colleagues’ elation after the successful detonation of the world’s first atomic bomb. Increasingly concerned that such a powerful weapon could lead to nuclear catastrophe, he decided to start passing key information about the bomb’s construction to the Soviet Union. At the University of Chicago he met and married Joan. Living under a cloud of suspicion and years of FBI surveillance and intimidation, the pair raised a family while Ted refocused his scientific brilliance on groundbreaking biophysics research.

A Compassionate Spy, two-time Oscar® nominee Steve James’ nuanced documentary, reveals the twists and turns of this real-life spy story, its profound impact on nuclear history, and the couple’s remarkable love and life together during more than 50 years of marriage.

Post Screening Special Guests

  • Post-screening Q&A on August 10 with Ben Pauker, National Security Editor, Washington Post.
  • Post-screening Q&A on August 24 with Dave Lindorff and Ben Pauker, National Security Editor, Washington Post.

Dave Lindorff has been an investigative journalist and author for over 50 years, a ’75 graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. After discovering and meeting Ted Hall’s widow Joan in 2017, he teamed up as a producer for A Compassionate Spy with director Steve James and Steve’s regular producer Mark Mitten.  Dave and his harpsichordist/fortepianist wife Joyce Zankel LIndorff live near Philadelphia.