Edith Tudor Hart - A Hi-Jacking

After the New Lanark site, we go into Edinburgh for the day, which is always a joy. Today there’s a photo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, of work by Edith Tudor Hart. Amazing woman. Viennese communist, taking refuge from the Nazis, marries a Brit doctor, and accompanies him wherever he goes, taking photos of poor families, a minsers’ protest march, a man holding a small bird. All direct, sympathetic, totally unsentimental. And in her spare time she’s a communist spy, running messages for Burgess and Blunt, and apparently responsible for recruiting Kim Philby.

In the afternoon Hilary and I go to A Hi-Jacking, at the reliably brilliant Cameo cinema. It’s about a real-life hijacking, with Somali pirates taking over a Danish ship, but we don’t actually see the take-over, or the rescue attempts, or the daring escape at midnight. This is contemporary Danish, so there’s a couple of Borgen regulars, and a really close examination of what this process means, for negotiators, bosses, hostages and families. The alternatives to Hollywood get clearer all the time.