The Debt

96 Minutes, 2007
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Directed by: Assaf Bernstein
Production:Eitan Evan
Production Company:Evanstone FIlms Ltd., Tel Aviv
Photographer: Giora Bikh
Original Music: Yonatan Bar Giora
Languages: Hebrew,
| Subtitles not available

A psychological spy thriller set in 1997 that follows the story of Rachel (Gila Almagor), a retired Mossad agent who, in 1964, was part of a hit squad sent to Germany to take out the ‘Birkenau Surgeon’ – an escaped Nazi war criminal. The squad members ultimately fail at their task but decide to fake their target’s death anyway, and return to Israel as national heroes on the blaze of glory.
The film opens at a party where chapters from a book Rachel had written about their heroic assignment are being read out. Zvi (Alex Peleg), her erstwhile hit squad colleague, shows up at her doorstep with some news. There is an elderly man in a Kyiv retirement home claiming to be the ‘Birkenau Surgeon.’ Fearing that her past is about to catch up to her, Rachel decides it’s time to tie up this loose end once and for all, finish the job over 30 years later, and protect the integrity of her lie. From this moment, the plot splits into two timelines following both attempts to assassinate the Nazi criminal – then and now.
The film was shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival. In 2010, it even received a Hollywood remake directed by John Madden and starring Dame Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, and Sam Worthington.

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