Pros: The film is based on real historical events Cons: Banal dialogues; lack of synergy between actors; poor performance by Chris Evans; the film is too long and simply boring The Red Sea Diving Resort / “Red Sea Diving Resort”
Genre historical drama
Directed by Gideon Ruff
Cast: Chris Evans (Ari Levinson), Michael Kenneth Williams (Kabede Bimro), Haley Bennett (Ritchel Reiter), Michiel Houseman (Jakob Wolf), Alessandro Nivola (Sammy Navon), Greg Kinnear (Walton Bowen), Ben Kingsley (Ethan Levine) ) and etc.
Bron Studios, Netflix
Year of release 2019
To cover the removal of Ethiopian refugees by sea, the Mossad, through a front company in Switzerland, bought an abandoned resort on the Sudanese Red Sea coast and placed it under the control of several undercover agents. Running a fairly large and successful tourism enterprise in hostile territory, the agents had to organize the night transfer of refugees across the desert and their evacuation by Israeli commandos to a waiting mothership outside Sudanese territorial waters. At the same time, the main task of the Mossad was not to reveal their presence and not provoke another wave of anti-Zionist hysteria and repression against Ethiopian Jews. After all, Sudan, after all, was a Muslim country and a member of the Arab League. Conducted over three years, the night operations went unnoticed by resort guests and staff. During Operation Brothers, approximately 12,000 Falasha were evacuated to Israel. And the whole scheme was exposed by one narrow-minded Israeli politician.
It would seem like just a great story, from which you can make a tense spy thriller with subtext that is still relevant today. Alas, the authors handled the material that fell into their hands very ineptly. So much so that even last year’s very weak 7 Days in Entebbe with Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl will seem like a real thriller to you.
And you can’t even tell right away what’s wrong with this film. It seems that the main points of the operation have not been distorted, although a certain amount of simplification is present. It seems that the actors are trying and there are even a couple of strong scenes in the script, including the genocide of the Falashas… But for some reason all this is not at all catchy. You simply don’t empathize with refugees and undercover agents who find themselves in dangerous situations from time to time.
Perhaps the authors’ overt attempts to push through religious analogies are to blame – at the beginning of the film, Chris Evans appears just like some kind of modern Moses, leading the Jews through the desert and crossing the Red Sea? Or maybe the awkward timing is to blame, because of which all the events of the film seem stretched out at least twice and terribly leisurely? Or maybe it’s the dialogues that are completely banal, pretentious and incredibly boring?
Or is the problem still in Chris Evans, who after 8 years in the Marvel galleys has forgotten how to play? No, seriously, it feels like Evans is still playing Cap. A savior in white robes, talking pretentious nonsense and not caring about the opinions of others. His Ari Levinson, who runs Operation Brothers, is a narcissistic bastard with a messiah complex. The same Alessandro Nivola, who plays the role of Sammy Navona, and Haley Bennett, who plays Ritchel Reiter (the heroine’s real name is Yola Reitman, and she actually worked as a flight attendant before and after the operation), easily outplay Evans in every single scene they share.
What’s the end result? Instead of a tense thriller based on real events, we got two hours of the most boring and banal dialogues performed by actors who are not trying at all. It hurts. No, seriously, the most interesting thing about The Red Sea Diving Resort is the display during the credits of real photographs taken during Operations Brothers, Moses, Joshua, Solomon and Wings of the Dove, which took place in 1981- 84, 1984, 1985, 1991 and 2012 During these logistically unique special operations, almost the entire Jewish population of Ethiopia was evacuated to Israel – more than 45 thousand people. Today, the descendants of the saved Beta Israel make up 1.75% of the Israeli population (130 thousand people). Only 5 thousand Falasha live outside the country.
PS During Operation Solomon, on May 24, 1991, an El Al Boeing 747 set a world record for carrying passengers. The aircraft, designed to carry 760 people, lifted 1,122 refugees into the air.
A rather clumsy attempt to show a real Mossad special operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews