A review of “Operation Finale”, a film on the abduction of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann

I was 13 when, in 1961, the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann – a major architect of the Holocaust – was tried in Israel and I remember reading about the proceedings in the newspaper. This 2018 film is largely about the operation, conducted by agents of Mossad and Shin Bet, to abduct Eichmann from his home in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, where he had been hiding for a decade.

Most of the film centres on the period of nine days when Eichmann was held in a local safe house and urged to sign a document – demanded by the El Al airline – that he was voluntarily ready to fly to Israel. The special angle of the movie is the developing relationship between Eichmann and the agent Peter Malkin who finally pursuaded the Nazi to sign the document. 

Directed by Chris Weitz who is better known for lighter movies, the film was shot on locations in Buenos Aires and is distinguished by the portrayals of the two principals: Ben Kingsley, who played a Jew in “Schindler’s List”, as Adolf Eichmann and Oscar Isaac, best known for his role in the “Star Wars” franchise, as Peter Malkin.

In this narrative, Eichmann is not presented as the embodiment of evil but more as a deeply flawed human being which perhaps accords with the account of Eichmann’s trial by the Jewish political thinker Hannah Arendt who coined the phrase “the banality of evil”.

Link: Wikipedia page on Adolf Eichmann click here


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>