YaLa Cine Club: The Spy

By M, Syrian filmmaker

I have just finished watching the first two episodes of a TV program called ‘The Spy’. These new series relates the story of the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen.

I have been waiting to broadcast it as soon as Netflix announced the series. I was very curious to hear the story of this dangerous spy from the point of view of its Israeli recruits. I have heard it from the tongue of its Syrian narrators and found many ambiguities and contradictions. By listening to both sides, I am sure that I will have a clearer and more credible story. Thankfully I was not left disappointed. The program begins to expose the lies of the Syrian novel from the second episode.

In his testimony on Al Jazeera, the late President Amin al-Hafiz categorically denied what was said in some testimonies of that era. Such as the fact that he had met Cohen while serving as Syrian ambassador to Argentina. Instead, he insisted that he had never heard of the man, Or known anything about him except when arrested.

But in the series, we discover that Cohen not only met with Amin al-Hafiz, but the president also welcomed him in his office inside the Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires and identified him by name. They talked for a long time, joked and walked in the corridors of the embassy. The president even offered his guest a cigar and drink. Not only that, but because of Cohen’s close proximity to al-Hafiz, he managed to sneak into his office during a ceremony held by the embassy, ​​and photographed some secret documents and sent them to Israel.

I will continue the series to discover more shocking facts. It is true that the producers are all Israelis. It is also true that they may promote their grievances, but I trust that they are more honest in dealing with such historical documents.

We have always been listening to Israel Radio (from Jerusalem) to know what is happening in Israel, Syria and the region. We have always been fascinated by their democracy and heard their harsh criticism of the government inside the Knesset, and their recognition of their mistakes and problems. At the same time when our media portrayed Syria as the paradise of the earth and the best country in the world. 

 And it’s beautiful to see Sasha Baron Cohen in a serious role. Except for his Arabic, he is really good in this new role.

Watch the trailer HERE

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