False Flag (TV series)

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False Flag
Also known asKfulim
כפולים
GenreDrama, Thriller
Created byMaria Feldman
Amit Cohen
Based onMahmoud al-Mabhouh case
Written byAmit Cohen
Directed byOded Ruskin
StarringIshai Golan
Maggie Azarzar
Ania Bukstein
Angel Bonanni
Orna Salinger
Mickey Leon
Morris Cohen
Sergey Bukhman
ComposerGilad Benamram
Country of originIsrael
Original languageHebrew
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes18
Production
ProducersMaria Feldman
Liat Bnasoli
CinematographyNadav Hakselman
EditorOr Ben David
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time45 minutes
Production companyKeshet Media
Release
Original networkChannel 2
Picture format576p (PAL)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseOctober 29, 2015 (2015-10-29) –
present

False Flag (original title in Hebrew: כפולים Translit.: Kfulim Translated: "Doubles") is an Israeli television thriller drama series. Directed by Oded Ruskin and starring Ishai Golan, the plot involves five ordinary Israelis who wake up one morning and discover that their names, faces, and personal details have been splashed across the world’s media on suspicion of involvement in a high-profile kidnapping.

A remake of the series starring Uma Thurman, called Suspicion, aired on Apple TV in February 2022.

Synopsis[edit]

The series revolves around five ordinary Israeli citizens who discover one morning via the media that they are the principal suspects of a high-profile kidnapping and are implicated as culprits in the kidnapping. They are involved in a brutal kidnapping of the Iranian minister of defense, Farhead Sulimani, during his visit to Moscow on 15 April 2015, having arrived in the country earlier that day from London under an alias and using one of several passports. According to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Sulimani was drugged. Widespread speculation, which Russian police allegations support, is that he was killed by the Israeli Mossad in a secret mission.

News channels around the world cover the incident while broadcasting the footage of the kidnapping, the five Israelis soon become wanted and their personal details, including their passports photos, are shown on the media and TV channels around the world.

The unceasing news coverage causes an uproar in the suspects' lives and mixed feelings from their surroundings and the public. Their attempts to deny their involvement are in vain. The Mossad and the Israeli government leave them to deal with it on their own instead of providing protection. It's not long before they undermine their credibility. Later, even their closest friends begin to distrust them. Although eventually it is discovered that they are not that innocent.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Ishai Golan as Ben "Benny" Rephael – A chemist and a family man, an Israeli with a Greek citizenship. (S1)
  • Magi Azarzar as Natalie Alfassia – A bride on her wedding day, an Israeli with a French citizenship. (S1)
  • Ania Bukstein as Asia Brindich – A kindergarten teacher, an Israeli with a Russian citizenship. (S1)
  • Angel Bonanni as Sean Tilson – An Israeli with dual Dutch citizenship, came back to Israel after a vacation in India. (S1-2)
  • Orna Salinger as Emma Lipman – New Israeli citizen with dual British citizenship. (S1)
  • Mickey Leon [he] as Eithan Kopel – Head of the Shin Bet investigation team and a former Mossad agent. (S1-2)
  • Yiftach Klein as Sagi Kedmi (S2)
  • Neta Riskin as Anat Kedmi (S2)
  • Yousef Sweid as Amir Cohen (S2)
  • Hanna Azoulay Hasfari as Miriam Levi (S2)
  • Hani Furstenberg as Joan 'Jo' Berger (S2)
  • Moran Rosenblatt as Dikla Levi (S2)
  • Lihi Kornowski as Mika Arazy (S2)

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Morris Cohen as Eli Mazor – Shin Bet investigator
  • Sergey Bukhman as Alex Feldman – Shin Bet investigator
  • Avigail Ariely as Efrat – Ben's wife
  • Shmil Ben Ari as Gafni
  • Roi Assaf as Yuval – Natalie's fiance
  • Yigal Naor as Gabi

Production[edit]

The series is directed by Oded Ruskin and stars Ishai Golan, Maggie Azarzar, Angel Bonanni, Ania Bukstein and Orna Salinger. It was created for Keshet International by Maria Feldman and Amit Cohen.

The storyline is loosely based on the story of the assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, co-founder of the military wing of Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, on January 19, 2010.[1]

Release[edit]

The series had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, and won the audience award at France's Series Mania festival in April 2015. In October 2015, during the annual trade show MIPCOM, it was announced that the series was acquired by Fox International and was its first acquisition of a foreign-language series on a global scale.[2]

False Flag originally aired on Israel's Channel 2 on October 29, 2015.[citation needed]

It aired on Fox UK in August 2017,[3] and on Hulu in the United States in January 2018.[4] Both seasons aired on SBS on Demand in Australia from 2020.[5]

Reception[edit]

The series was well-reviewed by The Guardian in the UK[3] and by The New York Times US.[4]

Remake[edit]

A remake of the series starring Uma Thurman, titled Suspicion, for Apple TV+,[6] aired in February 2022.[7]

Episodes[edit]

Title Summary Directed Written Original air date Israel viewers
Episode 1.1
Russian intelligence uncovers footage of five Israelis kidnapping the Iranian defence minister
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
October 29, 2015
30.0%
Episode 1.2
Eitan interrogates four of the suspects whilst Sean avoids capture
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
October 29, 2015
28.9%
Episode 1.3
A new video of the Iranian defence minister surfaces claiming to have defected and not been kidnapped
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
November 4, 2015
26.3%
Episode 1.4
Natalie admits to having laundered money for anonymous people but didn't know it was for Sean
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
November 4, 2015
24.4%
Episode 1.5
Sean suspects Gabi Silvers' motives. He abandons the safe house to collect a memory stick left at Asia's apartment
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
November 11, 2015
N/A
Episode 1.6
Benny and Emma get help from Yuval in their escape. They warn Asia and escape to an isolated cabin
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
November 18, 2015
N/A
Episode 1.7
Inside the cabin, Asia argues with everyone and goes to an isolated spot with Sean
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen,
Maria Feldman
November 25, 2015
N/A
Episode 1.8
After a shootout between Sean and Emma, Benny manages to convince Sean to escape. Benny, Emma, Asia and Natalie are arrested and extradited to Russia
Oded Ruskin
Amit Cohen Maria
Maria Feldman
December 2, 2015
29.4%
Episode 2.1
A large explosion rocks the inauguration ceremony for a new oil pipeline between Israel and Turkey. Eitan Kopel, the Mossad investigator, is summoned to join the Shin Bet and Eli to investigate the incident.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
November 21, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.2
Investigators are sent to the suspects' homes, three people who were on the guest list, but not among the dead or survivors. Eitan questions Mika – girlfriend of the suspect Amir Cohen who believes that she is living with a hi-tech entrepreneur - and has his suspicions raised by the fact that she participated in an illegal demonstration. Meanwhile, the Ops Room discovers that Amir's father is Hamis il Hamati – an Israeli Arab who used to live in the occupied territories. Eitan confronts Mika with the fact that her boyfriend is an Arab suspected of planning and executing a terrorist act. Mika finds this impossible to believe.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
November 21, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.3
Dikla is released under house arrestbut is horrified to find that she is being taken to her parents' home. Her protests of having no contact with her Orthodox parents are in vain, and she is sent to her parents' home in the Haredi Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Eliyahu. There she is forced to face her estranged Haredi father in the tiny apartment she escaped as a teenager.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
November 28, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.4
Mosh and Dovdov, incompetent drug dealers, bring Miriam to their apartment and lock her in a room. Later an armed and motorcycle-helmeted hitman breaks in and kills Mosh and Dovdov. Certain that she's going also be killed, Miriam is surprised when the assassin, whose face is concealed by a motorcycle helmet, leaves the apartment without harming her.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
December 5, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.5
At the safe house it is revealed that Amir and Anat were both operated by Sayag from the Mossad. Also, the USB drive that Anat brought from Moscow contains encrypted documents, including a secret contract between Russia and Israel. As the computer decodes the encryption, Anat and Amir hack into the Shin Bet computers and discover for the first time that there is a third suspect called Dikla Levi. They decide to head for Ramat Eliyahu to interrogate her, both posing as Haredi Orthodox Jews.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
December 12, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.6
Dressed as a Haredi Orthodox woman, Anat goes to the hospital to visit the wounded Uri. To get closer to him, she meets and assaults a medical clown and dresses in his costume. Anat goes into the hospital wing as Uri is being wheeled back to his room from surgery; she can't even touch him. Eitan ambushes Sagi in the hospital corridor, forcing him to cooperate with the Ops Room – at the end of their confrontation, it is agreed that Sagi will turn over Anat by speed dial once he sees her.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
December 12, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.7
The Minister reads the Russian contract and states that it is fake. When she leaves, Eitan shares his theory with Gafni that Anat and Amir were working for Sayag without official approval. Dikla reads in the newspaper that Dovdov and Mosh were murdered. To her surprise, the police release her. Eitan goes back to the Ops Room, where he discovers that his access card no longer works and the Mossad is being shut out of the investigation.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
December 19, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.8
Anat is interrogated by the Shin Bet. She is deprived of sleep, as they try to get her to admit she is responsible for the explosion. Sean is at home with his girlfriend, who is pregnant. He tells her that he's finally going to get the money he is owed and they will be able to leave for Australia the next evening. Jo presses Dikla to leave for Cyprus and get married right away. Dikla does not understand the sudden urgency, but reluctantly agrees.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
December 26, 2018
N/A
Episode 2.9
Eitan interrogates Jo brutally and eventually Jo breaks down and gives him a partial truth: she and Sean were in it together, but Sean was the one operating her, forcing her to bring all sorts of packages to him at the oil rig – she knew nothing about what was in them or who was operating Sean. This information is enough for Eitan to hand Jo over to the Shin Bet, hoping that now they will release Anat and Amir.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
January 2, 2019
N/A
Episode 2.10
Anat, Amir, and Eitan join forces in an attempt to catch Sean, who has been coerced into killing them. Earlier Eitan found a note for Leni's sonogram appointment, so Anat attempts to contact Leni to try catch Sean to question him about the identity of his and Jo's operators – the people in the black van.
Oded Ruskin
Maria Feldman,
Leora Kamenetzky
January 9, 2019
N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox International, Warner Bros Acquire Israeli TV Shows ‘False Flag’, ‘Girlfriends’ For U.S. Market, Algemeiner Journal, 4 October 2013
  2. ^ MIPCOM: Fox International Channels Takes Israeli Series 'False Flag', The Hollywood Reporter, 6 October 2015
  3. ^ a b Virtue, Graeme (August 1, 2017). "False Flag: the Israeli nailbiter giving Game of Thrones a run for its money". The Guardian. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Review: With 'False Flag,' Israel Exports Another Fine Thriller". The New York Times. January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  5. ^ Guide, SBS (May 29, 2020). "Model citizens or terrorists? 'False Flag' is back for a thrilling second season". Guide. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  6. ^ "Apple orders new drama series "Suspicion," starring Academy Award nominee Uma Thurman" (Press release). March 11, 2020.
  7. ^ Nicholas Cannon (January 11, 2022). "'Suspicion': release date, cast, plot and all you need to know about Uma Thurman's new thriller". whattowatch.com. Retrieved January 12, 2022.

External links[edit]