The Online Streaming Services scene has grown rapidly in recent years and the industry is about to get even more competitive with Disney entering the scene in a couple of months. In a bid to build a loyal customer base, Netflix has been creating more and more Netflix Originals like the popular and much-talked-about mini-series, When They See Us.
Following the massive success of this series which bagged more than 10 nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards 2019, Netflix is back with another film based off a true story – The Red Sea Diving Resort.
Synopsis: Set in the 1980s, this film centres around a team of Israeli Secret Intelligence agents being sent on a dangerous mission to rescue the lives of thousands of Ethiopian Jews.
With that, I want to share 4 interesting things that you need to know about this film before it drops, and in the process perhaps convince you to catch it together with me.
1) The History Behind This Film
The film is in fact, a remake of the biography titled Mossad Exodus. This rescue mission was detailed (as much as possible) in the biography written by Gad Shimron, who had firsthand experience in the entire operation. Though this mission was not as high profile as others like Operation Solomon or Operation Moses, it tells of an incredible tale of bravery and wit.
A Brief History
In the late 1970s, many Ethiopian Jews started fleeing Ethiopia to refugee camps in Sudan to escape the civil war and famine. They had hoped to travel through Sudan and Egypt to reach Israel. However, many had perished in the process. In 1977, the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, was engaged to carry out a secret mission to deliver Ethiopian Jews residing in the refugee camp back to Israel. Back then, it was a dangerous mission as Israel was the enemy of both Sudan and Egypt. Hence, the only way to transport these Ethiopian Jews was via The Red Sea.
The actual operation was carried out in the 1980s. The Mossad had found abandoned villas by the coast and developed it into a bustling resort where tourists could visit. However, what was unbeknownst to the local staff and guests of the resort was that it was secretly the rendezvous point where these Ethiopian Jews would be smuggled out to sea and be picked up by the Israeli Navy. The operation was met with significant danger and towards the end of the mission, the Ethiopian Jews were air-lifted instead of shipped after their cover was almost blown.
Fun Fact: Before being renamed to The Red Sea Diving Resort, the film was originally named after the code name of the rescue mission, Operation Brothers.
This story truly showcases the bravery and wit of the Mossad, who successfully created a resort that in fact flourished as a business. And if you are anything like me, this history in itself is enough to get me hooked.
2) The Cast And Crew
Instead, if you are not a nerd like me, maybe what would get you interested to watch this film is the cast and crew.
As seen from the featured image, Chris Evans is one of the main cast in this film. Yes, Chris Evans with a beard. This Hollywood A-lister is then joined by two breakout actors, Chris Chalk and Michael Kenneth Williams, whom you may recognise from the popular Netflix mini-series When They See Us.
Apart from the star-studded cast, the film is directed and written by award-winning director Gideon Raff. Two of his most notable works are the TV series Prisoners of War and Homeland. In 2012 and 2013, Homeland had won the Golden Globe Awards for The Best Television Series, proving that Gideon Raff is a force to be reckoned with. And with all that’s been said, I can’t wait to see him work his magic on this upcoming Netflix film The Red Sea Diving Resort.
Fun Fact: This award-winning director is an Israeli, so this story is likely one that is closer to his heart as well.
3) The Film Is Trending On Google
The trailer for this film was released on July 17. Taking a look at Google Trends, I wanted to see how the internet reacted to the trailer.
The graph above illustrates how popular a search item is and as seen from the chart, on the day of the trailer release, the internet went wild and was incredibly curious to find out more about the film. While the interest has waned since then, I expect that there will be renewed interest in the film once it has been officially released on Netflix.
The overall interest in the film is impressive due to the fact that little promotions were done for this film as compared to Netflix Originals upcoming series The Witcher and Money Heist Season 4. Both series have received much attention on social media due to the frequent promotions for the show and Money Heist even enjoys a place on Netflix’s Facebook banner.
Fun Fact: I first learnt about this film through Gal Gadot who showed her support and interest in the film.
4) The World Premiere And Netflix Release
So with all the talk about this film, when is it coming to us?
For Netflix, the film will be made available to subscribers on July 31. But prior to that, the film will be first aired to the world at the 2019 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The festival, which spans over a period of 10 days, has scheduled for The Red Sea Diving Resort to be the closing film for the last day of the festival on July 28. And you know how the saying goes:
Save the best for the last
I hope that this little nugget of information here has gotten you interested in the film that details the events of Operation Brother, the mission that saved thousands of Ethiopian Jews. I personally cannot wait for the Netflix release so till then, I’ll be on the edge of my seat.