The year is 1965. Rachel Brener is one of 3 young Mossad agents team who caught "The Surgeon of Birkenau" - a Nazi monster who was never brought to trial in Israel. The official reason was ...
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The year is 1965. Rachel Brener is one of 3 young Mossad agents team who caught "The Surgeon of Birkenau" - a Nazi monster who was never brought to trial in Israel. The official reason was that he was shot as he attempted escape while being held by his Israeli captive (kiddenappers) in a safe house somewhere in Europe. Today, 35 years after the well communicated story of the death of the monster, a small article appears in a local unimportant paper in a Kiev, Ukraine. Surprisingly the Surgeon is alive and is willing to admit his crimes against the human race and especially the Jews. The 3 older x Mossad agents who are in their late 60th became aware to this unfortunate threatening knowledge. The fact was that the "Surgeon" managed to escape from his guards- our 3 agents by wounding the woman who was not alert enough. Now that the old story came up to live again in a completely different version, they needed to cover their asses and secure their lives, reputation and the story they ... Written by
1997 Rachel appears to be right-handed, firing a gun, drinking, and holding a knife with her right hand. 1964 Rachel appears to be left-handed, writing, shaving, and holding a gun with her left hand. See more »
'You Jews only know how to die, you don't know how to kill.' : The Surgeon of Birkenau
This 2007 original version of the film currently in the theaters with an entirely new cast and crew and know as THE DEBT is the version written by Ido Rubenstien and writer/director Assaf Bernstein: their story and screen play were the nidus for the current version. This version HA HOV is in Hebrew and German with English subtitles and because this viewer has not seen the current THE DEBT in the theaters it is difficult to compare the two. That really is not a significant matter as HA HOV stands solidly on its own as a brilliant film.
The film opens at a gala party in Israel where Rachel Brenner (Gila Almagor) is being honored again for her role in ending the life of the infamous 'surgeon of Birkenau' who during WW II did heinous experiments on human beings in the camps of Birkinau, including being responsible for the death of Rachel's mother. But news arrives that at all old folks home in the Ukraine that the surgeon is still alive: the three Mossad agents (Rachel - played at the young age by Neta Garty, Zvi - Itay Tiran, and Ehud - Oded Teomi) in 1965, Mossad agents sent to capture the surgeon erroneously allowed him to escape and promising to keep their secret, told the papers that he committed suicide. Rachel, Zvi and Ehud decide they must complete their broken mission and go to the Ukraine, fine the surgeon and kill him. Zvi and Ehud are not up to the task, so it is left to Rachel to finish their mission. The suspenseful hunt and chase is how the mission is accomplished.
The manner in which the film is set into motion is a seamless interchange of the years 1944 during the war and the black and white images of the concentration camps, and 1965 when the three young Mossad agents captured the surgeon (and their interaction with him before his escape) and the present when the now 60ish Rachel carries out her duty. It is chilling, rich in character development, and maintains a degree of tension that is almost unbearable at times. But the other aspect of this film that keeps it form being yet another memoir of the mistreatment of the Jews in WW II is the element of humanity in each of the three Mossad agents as they deal with their task and yet interact with the evil and warped surgeon. This is a very strong film, one that deserves an audience at least equal to those who have seen or will see THE DEBT.
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