With heightened tensions between Russia and the US, an age-old case of international espionage is being re-adjudicated in federal court. Branded a Soviet Spy and convicted of conspiracy at the height of the Cold War, 97-Year-Old Miriam Moskowitz sets out to clear her name more than half a century later.
In July of 1950, the FBI arrested Miriam Moskowitz and her boss Abe Brothman. Although the prosecution couldn’t make an espionage charge stick, newspapers headlined the conviction of two dangerous A-Bomb spies in cahoots with the treacherous Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (executed for espionage in 1953). Miriam, who was having an illicit affair with Abe, refused to take the stand for fear the affair would be revealed, thus giving up her only public opportunity to defend herself.
Fast-forward more than sixty years. Miriam is age 97, and still a convicted felon. Her age shows, but it is masked by her feisty personality. After decades, Miriam has come forward to reveal her past--and clear her name. The Conviction of Miriam Moskowitz follows Miriam as she seeks justice and personal vindication. She pursues legal recourse, political clemency, and even appeals to the general public and historians to reconsider her place in American history.
But in clearing her name, Miriam faces questions and evidence long buried. Is she really a victim of the 1950s era of McCarthy hysteria? Or is there some truth to the charges against her? In exploring Miriam’s past, the film explores the injustice of 1950s America while raising questions about the lengths people are willing to go to ensure they are remembered the way they want to be. And set against current relations with Russia and espionage, it raises interesting questions about international espionage and the effects this has on American society and politics.
Emily Harrold is a documentary filmmaker from Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her films have screened at such festivals as the Tribeca Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, DOC NYC, and the Telluride Film Festival. Harrold is a graduate of New York University, where she earned honors majoring in Film Production and US History.
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