Many years ago I read Mossad agent Peter Malkin’s book about the capture of Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann. It was called EICHMANN IN MY HANDS, and it was a riveting read about a terrible situation.
The new movie, OPERATION FINALE, was everything I remember of the book come to life. For anyone who may not already be familiar with this story, Eichmann was responsible for the murder of the Jews during World War II. He was unrepentant at the end of the war, and beyond it, as only those without a shred of a conscience can be, and made sure he saved his own ass, fleeing (eventually) to Argentina.
It’s there that he’s identified – by a blind survivor! The back story of that identification is detailed here and it’s fascinating. Ultimately the state of Israel receives a report about the Nazi’s whereabouts, and sends a team to capture and retrieve him, with the hope of putting him on trial in front of the world. How they pulled it off is the stuff good movies are made of.
I wasn’t aware, prior to seeing the movie, that Eichmann, long previously described as a bland functionary who was “just following orders,” was anything but. He apparently gave lectures in Argentina on how, ahem, “well” he thought he’d done his job during the Nazi era. It makes the portrait of him look even more complicated, and worse.
I’ve enjoyed watching Ben Kingsley playin other, infinitely more decent roles for decades, but how he handles the portrayal of the evil Eichmann is quite a sight to behold. May he be nominated for an award for this one.
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