Unity tells the story of a lost film about the relationship between the English aristocrat, Unity Mitford, and Hitler, set against the background of the Red Army Faction terror campaign in 1970s Germany. Shooting has to be abandoned when the leading actress, Felicity Benthall, joins in the campaign, following her affair with a charismatic Palestinian.
The author himself features in the narrative when, almost thirty years later, he attempts to uncover the truth about Felicity and another university friend, Luke Dent, who wrote the film-script. He consults Luke’s letters from the set and the diaries of the former Hollywood child star and revolutionary socialist, Geraldine Mortimer, who played Diana Mosley; interviews two of the German actors and the film’s producer, Thomas Bücher, an Auschwitz survivor turned high-powered pornographer; reads a revealing memoir by the director’s widow; and corresponds with Carole Medhurst, a British actress turned Hollywood mogul.
Their testimonies set up an intricate chain of associations from 1930s Britain to post-war Germany, painting a disturbing picture of corruption and fanaticism, and casting light on the nature of evil.