Nancy Wake was a crusading journalist who became one of the most respected and feared secret agents during the German invasion of France. A leading figure in the French Resistance, she was deemed the White Mouse by the Gestapo due to her uncanny ability to elude capture. Nancy Wake: Gestapo's Most Wanted is a revealing take on this beautiful, brash and brave servicewoman, and offers exciting recreations of the perilous missions that constitute her impressive legacy.
Described in the film as "a flower that bloomed during wartime", Wake's destiny was shaped by the onslaught of World War II. A striking New Zealander who migrated to Europe and married a wealthy Frenchman, her opulent socialite lifestyle was shaken by the atrocities of Nazism. Driven by her rejection of Nazi philosophies and determined to assist allied forces, she initially served as a nurse before becoming a full-fledged practitioner of espionage.
Those who underestimated her based on gender did so at their peril. By war's end, she had a price on her head in the amount of five million francs. Her husband was murdered by Nazi captures after refusing to give up her location. She parachuted into enemy controlled territories, and led successful skirmishes that delivered profound blows to the Germans while minimizing casualties among soldiers in her own command.
An inspiration for the classic character of Charlotte Gray, Wake eventually escaped the threat of impending danger and lived far beyond the confines of the war. At the time of her death at the age of 98, she was highly honored and decorated for her sacrifices, and was recognized as one of the most consequential heroes of the French Resistance.
Nancy Wake: Gestapo’s Most Wanted is presented as a hybrid that engages in both narrative and documentary forms. Fully staged scenes dramatize the key events of her life, and they're bolstered by believable performances and high gloss production values. Interview subjects interject throughout to offer morsels of historical information that humanize her journey. It's an unusual and effective approach to an amazing story that's usually relegated to the grandiose fictions of the Hollywood spy genre.
Directed by: Mike Smith