The hunt for, and capture, of one the world’s most wanted men.
Operation Finale (2018)
Yesterday’s “Today in Law Enforcement History” article discussed the capture and execution of brutal Nazi Final Solution architect Adolf Eichmann. It makes us think of the film Operation Finale, about the hunt for and capture of Eichmann. Sure, it’s not technically a cop film. But the story is about identifying a perp, hunting him down, collaring him, and bringing him to justice. Good enough for me.
Operation Finale is an intriguing tale and, for most of the movie, pretty true to the facts of this remarkable event. The film follows Eichmann, played superbly by Ben Kingsley, from his days as a Nazi SS – Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant Colonel) as he arranged for the movement of Jews from Hungary and other parts of the Reich to death camps. such as Auschwitz. Eichmann escapes Europe after the war and we find him living in obscurity in Buenos Aires. He has a family and a job, seemingly living a normal life but surrounded by a cadre of other Nazi exiles.
Meanwhile, Mossad Agent Peter Malkin, played by Oscar Issac (who also produced the film), is working on finding missing Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice. A tip puts them onto Eichmann and the investigations unfolds from there. The movie gets a bit dramatized at the end, but most of the basic facts are true to life. It is a fascinating story of a dedicated group of investigators and agents who will stop at nothing to get their man.
Kingsley is great in the film. He manages to humanize Eichmann in some scenes and then flips to show the true monster that Eichmann was. It is truly a frightening performance. Oscar Issac is also excellent. Some of the best acting comes when the Israeli team is attempting to break Eichmann in the box (get a confession in an interview room) to get him to admit his identity and sign an extradition waiver. It is truly a masterful bit of work for all involved any anyone who has ever had to get a confession will appreciate the scene.
The film runs about 2 hours and while not full of action, it is full of drama. And because it is Hollywood, they had to add a little romance, but it works.
The movie is based on the autobiographical account of Peter Malkin in his book, Eichmann in My Hands. The book is also a good read.
You can watch the movie for free on Netflix and rent it on any major streaming service. Check out the JustWatch website for more info. You can find current updates on where to watch any film or show for free or behind a paywall.
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