The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on August 15, 2019 @

The Red Sea Diving Resort is a grueling film.

It is a Netflix movie, "inspired by true events."

The Red Sea Diving Resort is the stirring story of a small group of Mossad agents trying to evacuate desperate Jewish Ethiopians from the Sudan to Jerusalem.

The film is not for the "Stay-in-your-own-country-and-die" folks.

In a voice-over, an Ethiopian leader Kabede Bimbo (Michael K. Williams) says, "We have waited 2,700 years. We will arrive in Jerusalem, the city of God, one day."

A rescuer states, "We leave no one behind." That becomes the motto of the film.

Ari Levinson (Chris Evans), who is the reckless leader of the rescuers does not play politics. He is committed to the "mission."

But the Kabede says that it's "not a mission for me. It's my life."

Writer/director Gideon Raff also created Prisoners of War for Israeli television. He wrote and directed original episodes. The series was the source of Homeland on Showtime in the U.S. Raff wrote episodes for the successful American television series.

The Red Sea Diving Resort takes some leaps, as do both versions of the television series. The focus on the main mission gets a little diluted when we are informed about the 6th mission and the 19th mission. Many missions decrease the impact of the main one, which is intimate and focused. And in the conclusion when we find out there were 1,000s evacuated, it adds a greater tapestry behind the picture.

However, during the credit sequences there are several photographs of the actual events. That adds a powerful dimension.

The cast is credible. Three well-known actors appear: Chris Evans, Ben Kingsley as a Mossad official, and Greg Kinnear in a lesser role as a member of the CIA. Blonde Haley Bennett is not in the cast to provide romance. She turns out to be lethal. And Chris Chalk is powerful as the brutal Sudanese Colonel.

The Red Sea Diving Resort is named for the dilapidated hotel the agents take over as a cover for their operation.

The film takes an imperfect but compelling dive.

© 2000-2019 Tony Macklin