The Spy Behind Home Plate

Dir. Aviva Kempner | 101 min
Documentary USA 2019

Moe Berg led two lives: one was of public accomplishment, easy grace, and dazzling intellect. Hidden from view was his career as an OSS operative, whose daring deeds helped prevent the Axis powers from developing an atom bomb.

Tagged the ‘brainiest man in baseball,’ the son of Jewish immigrants stumped collegiate competitors by calling signals in Latin, and was eventually called up to the majors—playing catcher for the Washington Senators and other clubs during baseball’s Golden Age.

He went on to join Babe Ruth on an All-Star tour to Japan, which brought his heroism, athletic career, and spy-craft together.

Director Aviva Kempner will lead a conversation after the Sunday, November 17 screening and introduce the Saturday, November 23 screening.

Presented as part of 40 Years of Filmmaking: An Aviva Kempner Retrospective


Sunday, November 176:45 PM Q&A

Thursday, November 217:00 PM

Saturday, November 238:35 PM Filmmaker Introduction


Aviva Kempner has a mission in life. She makes films that investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrate the untold stories of Jewish heroes. To her list of those heroes, she has now added Moe Berg. Based in Washington, DC, director-writer-producer Kempner boasts a resume of critically acclaimed and award-winning documentaries, including Rosenwald, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, and Peabody winner The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. She also produced another WWII documentary, Partisans of Vilna. She is an avid voting rights advocate for the District of Columbia and is the founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival.


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