When Heroes Fly

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When Heroes Fly
Also known asBishvila Giborim Afim
  • Drama
  • Thriller
Created byOmri Givon
Based onWhen Heroes Fly by Amir Gutfreund
Directed byOmri Givon
Country of originIsrael
Original language(s)Hebrew
No. of series1
No. of episodes9 (Keshet)
10 (Netflix)
Executive producer(s)Kfir Weiss
  • Jonathan Doweck
  • Eitan Mansuri
Production location(s)Israel
CinematographyNitai Netzer
Running time45 minutes (Keshet)
50 minutes (Netflix)
Production company(s)Spiro Films
DistributorKeshet International
Original networkKeshet 12, Netflix
Original release13 May 2018 (2018-05-13)

When Heroes Fly (Hebrew: בשבילה גיבורים עפים‎, romanizedBishvila Giborim Afim) is an Israeli drama television series that was first broadcast in Israel on Keshet 12 in May 2018. The series was created by Omri Givon and loosely based on the novel of the same name by Amir Gutfreund. It uses flashbacks to account for the differing time periods.

In October 2018 Netflix acquired international broadcasting rights to the series.[1] Keshet has commissioned a second season.[2] The series will also be adapted into an English version for the United States market.[3]


Four former IDF veterans who served together in the 2006 Lebanon War are reunited for a rescue mission in Colombia, where one lives, to find Yaeli (Tayeb), a woman once believed to have died in a car accident after the war.[4]


  • Tomer Kapon as Aviv Danino
  • Ninet Tayeb as Yael 'Yaeli' Ashkenazi
  • Michael Aloni as Dotan 'Himmler' Friedman
  • Nadav Netz as Dov 'Dubi' Ashkenazi
  • Moshe Ashkenazi as Yakir 'Benda' Ben-David
  • Vanessa Chaplot as Maria
  • Oded Fehr as Moshiko Boaron
  • Dan Mor as Azoulay
  • Yael Sharoni as Noga Avrahami
  • Rita Shukrun as Aviv's mother
  • Gil Franc as Padre Palido
  • Muli Shulman as Ronen Levinger
  • Assaf Ben-Shimon as Yaki
  • Nili Rogel as Rona Ashkenazi
  • Micha Celektar as Avi


Creator Omri Givon had already met Amir Gutfreund, the writer of the original novel years before Gutfreund's death in 2015. Givon spent eight months writing the final script and decided to concentrate on adapting the final part of the novel that deals with Yaeli's rescue. Givon also decided to replace Chicago with Colombia as the site of the rescue mission so that he could focus on the drug trade industry. Givon decided to film in Colombia due to the budget constraints of filming in his original choice, San Diego.[5] Filming also took place in Tel Aviv.[6]


The series won Best Series at the first Canneseries Festival in April 2018.[4]

Adrian Hennigan said in his review of the series for Haaretz:

"What it does best is show how in Israel, mandatory army service is the melting pot that throws diverse groups together – so an Ashkenazi elite or Orthodox Jew can end up taking orders from a scrappy Mizrahi kid in a combat unit – and how these formative experiences bond them like brothers for life." Hennigan also compared the show to the Israeli series Prisoners of War: "...with both shows powerfully depicting the silent horrors of PTSD as ex-soldiers struggle with their wartime experiences." Hennigan praised the performances, noting that "Aloni’s performance is the one that really stays with you."[7]

Decider.com, a pop culture website operated by the New York Post, reviewed the series positively.[8]


  1. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (15 October 2018). "Netflix Acquires Drama 'When Heroes Fly' From Keshet International". Variety.
  2. ^ "Move Over, 'Fauda.' Hit Israeli Series 'When Heroes Fly' To Stream On Netflix". The Forward. 15 October 2018.
  3. ^ Kamin, Debra (6 June 2018). "Canneseries Winner 'When Heroes Fly' to Be Adapted for U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  4. ^ a b Hopewell, John (11 April 2018). "'When Heroes Fly,' 'State of Happiness' Top Canneseries". Variety.
  5. ^ "« When heroes fly », la série post trauma". L'Obs (in French). 9 January 2019.
  6. ^ Debnath, Neela (16 January 2019). "When Heroes Fly location: Where is it filmed? Where is it set?". Express.co.uk.
  7. ^ Hennigan, Adrian (14 January 2019). "Netflix's New Israeli Thriller 'When Heroes Fly' Is Almost as Much Fun as 'Fauda'". Haaretz.
  8. ^ "Stream It Or Skip It: 'When Heroes Fly' On Netflix, Where Israeli Army Vets Search For A Woman In Colombia". Decider. 10 January 2019.

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