In 1961, Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), a 60-year-old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and still the only) theft in the gallery’s history.
Kempton sent ransom notes saying he would return the painting on the condition that the government invest more in caring for the elderly — he had long campaigned for retirees to get free TV.
What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later the full story came out – Kempton had woven a web of lies. The only truth is that he was a good man, bent on changing the world and saving his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to make it happen is a fascinating and joyful story.
Roger Michel, the son of a British diplomat, was born in South Africa and lived as a child in Beirut, Damascus and Prague. He is a theater and film director. His films include Persuasion, My Night with a REG, TITANIC TOWN, Note the Hill, Lane Change, Mother, Venus, Enduring Love, Morning Glory, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, LE WEEK-END, My COUSIN RACHEL, Nothing Like DAME and BLACK.
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by Roger Michel
Written by Richard Bean and Cliff Coleman
Produced by Nikki Bentham
Anna Maxwell Martin
Jake the flag
and Charlotte Spencer