Martha Gellhorn was a life long pacifist, who because of the war in Vietnam, chose to turn her back on the land of her birth, the US, to settle in Britain, in central London and in a cottage in Wales. But amid her own acute observations on the human condition, she was an intensely private person.
The documentary looks back on her life and, with the help of her family and friends and hitherto unpublished letters, reveals the motivation and make-up of this determined woman who made her way in a very male world. The film also reveals the truth about her marriage to Hemingway, her bravery in covering conflicts from the Spanish Civil War, through the D Day landings and World War II, to Nicaragua and El Salvador and her tangled relationships, both with her family and with the men she met along the way as she reported war and the victims of war.
Marie Colvin, the Sunday Times Foreign Affairs Correspondent, who has been a life-long admirer of Gellhorn, introduces the programme and among the contributors are John Simpson, Jon Snow, Victoria Glendinning and John Pilger, all of whom were Gellhorn’s friends and confidentes during her years in London. She also talks to Martha’s friends, Betsy Drake (film star wife of Cary Grant), author Sybille Bedford and Caroline Moorehead, Gellhorn’s friend and biographer.