Skip to main content

Sons to tell real story behind Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' in Twin Cities

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Steven Spielberg's newest film, "Bridge of Spies," documents an important chapter of the Cold War – but who better to tell that story than the sons of the men who were there?

John Donovan and Gary Powers, Jr. will soon be doing so before an audience in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Their fathers, James Donovan and famed pilot Francis Gary Powers, were at the center of a major international incident that began in 1960 when the latter's U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union.

Powers was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the USSR, but thanks to the efforts of New York lawyer and CIA operative James Donovan, the U.S. was able to negotiate the pilot's release in exchange for Rudolf Abel – an imprisoned Soviet spy Donovan had defended in court.

Both Donovan and Powers have been dead for decades, but their sons are telling their story in light of the release of Spielberg's film, which centers on the incident and stars Tom Hanks as the elder Donovan.

According to a news release received by BringMeTheNews, the men will speak at the Beth El Synagogue at 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 3 as part of the institution's "Heroes Among Us" lecture series, proceeds from which support the the 682nd Engineer Battalion of the Minnesota National Guard, currently deployed overseas.

In addition to talking about their fathers' place in history, Donovan and Powers "will offer their take on the spirit of service, as well as the challenges facing the United States and international diplomacy," Beth El Synagogue says.

Both men, the Jewish community points out, are noted for their own accomplishments – Donovan served in the U.S. Marines during Vietnam and later worked as a diplomat, while Powers founded the Cold War Museum and works with the National Park Service to identify "historic Cold War sites" for preservation.

"Bridge of Spies" was co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, both raised in St. Louis Park.

Tickets for the event are available here, and start at $36 for general admission.

Earlier this year, the Beth El Synagogue hosted a talk with Tara Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, subject of the film "American Sniper."

Next Up

Great Dane Rescue and Sanctuary

Emaciated Great Danes rescued after being found living in minivan

Great Dane Rescue of Minnesota and Wisconsin posted that two of the dogs are in "rough condition" and "barely hanging on."

Screen Shot 2020-05-26 at 10.28.52 AM

2 years since George Floyd's killing, Biden signs exec order on policing

The signing comes on the second anniversary of Floyd's murder by police in south Minneapolis.

earlyseason

Lutsen Mountains owner to buy Michigan ski resort

The Skinner family has operated alpine ski areas in the Midwest for 60 years.

covid

Mayo Clinic, CDC address concerns over monkeypox in the US

The CDC does not currently think there is a significant threat to the general public.

police tape

Charges: Man killed brother, left body in homemade camper for 7 months

James Robert Hess, 48, faces second-degree murder charges for the death of his 52-year-old brother, William Harold Hess Jr.

storm

Minnesota forecast: Hot, humid and severe storm chances

Bring Me The News meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says right now the best chance for storms looks like Sunday/Sunday night.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota

Minnesota's biggest Thai festival to be hosted in front of State Capitol

The Thai New Year, or Songkran, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Thailand.

police tape, crime scene

Man dies after being shot in the head in St. Cloud

Investigators believe the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle.

USATSI_18349907

Uvalde school massacre: MN Democrats call for action, Republicans prayers

The tragedy in Texas has sparked different reactions from Minnesota's congressional delegation.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud man fires shot at police in hours-long standoff, surrenders

Shawn Lawrence Jacobs, 37, was arrested just before 4 p.m. Tuesday after he surrendered.

New baby zebra at the Como Zoo.

St. Paul's Como Zoo welcomes new baby zebra

The baby is yet to be named, and the zoo is planning an event for visitors to help with the decision.

Related