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Lincoln (movie, 2012)

For Steven Spielberg on 'Bridge of Spies,' being boxed in by facts is great for the imagination

On a crisp October afternoon hours before his latest film, "Bridge of Spies," premiered to a standing ovation at the New York Film Festival, Steven Spielberg walked two miles through Central Park to an interview and shared a story about his father.

In 1960, Spielberg's father, Arnold, traveled to Moscow as part of a delegation of electrical engineers from Phoenix. The trip coincided with an incident that is the subject of "Bridge of Spies," a historical drama about an attorney (played by Tom Hanks) entrusted with negotiating the release of Francis Gary Powers, an American U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. While in Moscow, Spielberg's father had waited in...