Mr Jones: The True Story behind the ‘True Story’
By Philip Colley
The new film Mr Jones aims to tell the story of my great uncle, the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. It is based on his 1933 world exclusive exposing the great famine then raging across much of the USSR, particularly in Kazakhstan and Ukraine; a famine which Moscow was desperate to conceal. His scoop upset two governments and instead of being feted for his honest reporting he found himself denigrated by the pool of Moscow foreign correspondents, blacklisted by the Soviet Union and blackballed by the British establishment. Some say the story eventually resulted in his murder. The film’s poster claims it is ‘The most important true story you will ever watch’. But in reality, the film distorts the truth.
As his great nephew I know that the true story of Gareth Jones is far more amazing than the sensationalised one shown by the film. And if there is a story behind this film, it is that of one woman’s long struggle to rescue her beloved uncle’s memory from obscurity. That woman was my late mother, Dr Margaret Siriol Colley, Gareth’s biographer, without whom there would simply be no film. The actual story of Gareth Jones is to be found in her book, More Than a Grain of Truth, the source for the film and from which all that is true about Gareth is gleaned.
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Get your copy of More Than a Grain of Truth HERE!