A Real-Life Historical Mystery Gets a Thrilling, Subversive Twist in Short Film The Defector

Image courtesy of Scott Mannion
Image courtesy of Scott Mannion

In 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt vanished while swimming at a beach near his residence. He was presumed drowned, but his body was never recovered—giving rise to a Cold War-era mystery that continues to fascinate. Scott Mannion’s new short, The Defector, advances one rather tantalizing theory.

I don’t want to spoil the twist, but let’s just say that “Red Scare” takes on a whole new meaning in this context. Also, the film is so well-crafted that you may be lulled into thinking you’re watching a thrilling spy tale set in the real world—until the scifi stuff suddenly takes it to a new level.

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I used to live near this famously ironic establishment.