THE SPY BEHIND HOME PLATE Expands Release To LA, San Fran & NY


The Spy Behind Home Plate
, set for national release starting Friday, May 24 in Washington, DC and will expand to NY and other cities across the country on May 31. This film is the first feature-length documentary about Moe Berg, the enigmatic and brilliant baseball player who turned spy for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. Berg not only played for the last Washington Senators team to play in a World Series (1933), but he also trained with the OSS not far from the D.C. team’s home, Griffith Stadium. The Spy Behind Home Plate features rare historical footage as well as revealing interviews with an All-Star roster of celebrities and other individuals from the worlds of sports, spy craft and history.

Interviewees include Berg’s relatives, fellow baseball players, biographer Nicholas Dawidoff, authors David Ignatius and Thomas Powers, MLB historian John Thorn, film professor Dr. Annette Insdorf, playwright Michael Frayn, sports commentator Larry Merchant, sports columnist Ira Berkow, OSS Society president Charles Pinck, Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus, U.S. Senator Ed Markey and baseball executives Jerry Reinsdorf and Bud Selig.

Kempner, who produced, wrote and directed the film, describes it by saying, “Moe Berg is finally achieving the recognition he so deserves as a World War II hero. This full-length feature documentary explores the broader landscape of his immigrant Jewish upbringing, why he was called the brainiest man in baseball, and his many courageous OSS missions geared towards preventing the Nazis from developing the atomic bomb. Berg is the American hero we all need to know more about!”

Born in New York, Berg grew up in Newark, New Jersey. The erudite Major League catcher played on five different baseball teams in the ’20s and ’30s, spoke a multitude of languages, earned degrees from Princeton University and Columbia University Law School, and attended the Sorbonne.

In 2018, Berg and the 13,000 heroic men and women of the OSS finally received a well-deserved Congressional Gold Medal during a moving ceremony where Berg’s heroism was cited.

Berg played for the Brooklyn Robins (which became the Dodgers), the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Senators, and the Boston Red Sox during baseball’s Golden Age. In 1934, Berg joined the All American Baseball Team for an All-Star exhibition tour in Japan with Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Gomez, Charlie Gehringer, and Lou Gehrig.

Based in Washington, DC, Kempner, a director-writer-producer dynamo, 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.

Child of U.S. Army officer Harold Kempner and Polish Holocaust survivor Helen Ciesla, Kempner was born in post-World War II Berlin, Germany. Her family history inspired her to make films about under-known Jewish heroes– television pioneer Gertrude Berg, Hall of Fame baseball superstar Hank Greenberg, philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, and the Jewish resistance to the Nazis. Her films have received top honors from The National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and CINE Golden Eagle and Peabody Awards.

Please visit The Spy Behind Home Plate for more info on the film and screening times & locations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.