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“The Minox Miniature Camera That Penkovsky Uses to Photograph 50,000 Secret Soviet Military Documents”: Dominic Cooke | Ironbark

Dominic Cooke, director of Ironbark (courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Whether capturing or creating a world, the objects onscreen tell as much of a story as the people within it. Whether sourced or accidental, insert shot or background detail, what prop or piece of set decoration do you find particularly integral to your film? What story does it tell?

There is one object that is absolutely essential to Ironbark and that’s the Minox miniature camera that Penkovsky uses to photograph 50,000 secret Soviet military documents. Our hero Greville Wynne, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, passes these to the U.K. and U.S. governments, including essential information about the nuclear weapons that the Russians were smuggling into Cuba in 1962. By passing this information on, Penkovsky and Wynne saved the world from nuclear war. We owe both men a huge debt, although they’ve been forgotten.

Sundance Responses 2020 


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