HBO is all set to team up again with the Israeli creators behind the network’s hit show “In Treatment” which starred Gabriel Byrne. Hagai Levi and Noah Stollman, the brains behind the original Israeli version of the show called “Batipul” are the creators of this new series.
The as of yet untitled drama is also being produced by Israeli company Keshet, which made the original show “Prisoners of War” on which the hit drama “Homeland” is based. The new 10 episode drama will be about the true story of what happened in Israel when three children were kidnapped and murdered by terrorists back in 2014.
HBO should tread lightly here. The entire nation of Israel was turned upside down when the three boys went missing. People kept up hope that they might be rescued, but this was never likely to happen as their captors never made any demands. In the end their dead bodies were found near the highway interchange from where they had been abducted.
Israel took immediate action after the boys disappeared. The West Bank was closed off and both soldiers and police scoured the area, arresting anyone suspect and detaining many for questioning.
The terrorist group Hamas in Gaza was not happy about Israel’s efforts to save the boys and decided to launch missiles into Israel as a retaliation for the crackdown in the West Bank. This led to retaliations by Israel and after things escalated Israel proceeded to launch its “Operation Protective Edge” which lasted for 50 days.
Many Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting and an entire system of tunnels dug by Hamas to infiltrate into Israel was discovered. Most of the residents who live in the western Negev region of Israel near Gaza were forced to relocate because their homes were in range of Hamas’ rockets which targeted civilians indiscriminately.
None of the entertainment websites such as Variety made any mention of the background to these events in their reporting on the new series. Their readers would think that this show will be an Israeli version of American real life dramas about kids who disappeared or were murdered like Jobenet Ramsey.
It will be interesting to see how HBO deals with the subject material.
Famed Israeli director Yosef Cedar, who has been nominated for the best foreign language Oscar for his movies “Beaufort” and “Footnote” is signed to direct episodes of the series,
The show will follow and Israeli detective who works for the Shin Bet (Israel’s anti-terrorism force) as he investigates the kidnappings.
According to HBO: “The series dramatizes the tragic torrent of violence that followed the disappearance of, and intensive search for, three Israeli teens during the summer of 2014. The show follows an idealistic investigator for the Shin Bet (the Israeli equivalent of the FBI) as he deals with the ramifications of violent reactions on both sides of the escalating conflict. A new command position thrusts him into a confrontation that undermines his faith and worldview, leading to a dramatic conflict between his values and the actions of those closest to him.”
“We’re excited to work with Keshet and this extremely talented and creative group led by Hagai Levi. We look forward to sharing this important story with our subscribers, ” said HBO president Casey Bloys.
Whatever it will be called, the new show will be produced by Movie Plus and distributed internationally by Keshet International. Levi, Stollman and Lombardo will all serve as executive producers with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Karni Ziv and Rachel Kaplan of Keshet, Peter Traugott and Joseph Cedar.
Avi Nir of Keshet Media Group stated that, “We are thrilled to partner with HBO, the ultimate quality TV powerhouse, and to bring together Israel’s finest in TV and film, led by Hagai Levi, Noah Stollman and Joseph Cedar. We are all ready for the challenging journey on which this extraordinary story will take us.”