Parents' Guide to

The Pigeon Tunnel

By Sabrina McFarland, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Superb docu on spy novelist John le Carré; language, peril.

Movie PG-13 2023 92 minutes
The Pigeon Tunnel movie poster: John le Carré, the White British author who is the subject of the film, is seated in a chair facing the camera with his hands and legs crossed, the gray-haired writer wearing a light-colored shirt and tie, dark-colored overcoat, pants, socks, and shoes, and there are images of pigeons flying above his head, against a beige and red graphic background where the film's title and other credits appear in black letters

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Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Errol Morris delivers John le Carré and his memories

Morris once again succeeds in offering a film that feels like we are able to access a person into the depth of their spirit. Le Carré is a wonderful person to center a film around. He is adept at relaying stories about himself...and his father. His memory of what occurred, his impressions, his point of view...le Carré has a way of disavowing truth and reminding us that in between the truth and a lie is what we remember and that is more important than any of it. Morris is steadfast and undeterred in presenting le Carré in this enigma wrapped in a riddle where he is doing his best to be as straightforward as possible. Reminding us that we want from le Carré and what he offers us may not align, but we never stop desiring more of his memories that we assume are lies but hope are true.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The pairing of Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap & Out of Control) and award-winning spy novelist John le Carré (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is pure cinematic pleasure. Viewers will be mesmerized by the candid presentation le Carré gives of his childhood. "Like many artistic people," says the novelist, "I have lived from early childhood inside an imaginative bubble." Le Carré's mom Olive abandoned the family when he was 5 and she was "impenetrable emotionally," he says. Le Carré also freely admits his dad Ronnie was a confidence trickster who "bought huge quantities of my books, usually on credit, and signed them from the author's father."

Le Carré considered a life in the legal profession but was lured to join the ranks of British spies. "From a very early age, I was a little spy," he recalls. Whenever his dad left the house, le Carré investigated. But le Carré later finds that writing is his true calling. "For me writing is a journey of self-discovery every time," he notes about the craft he loves. "My business is to try to make creditable fables out of the worlds that I visited or visited me."

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