Operation Finale’s director has opened up about the necessary changes between his historical biopic, which tells the story of Mossad’s capture of former SS officer Adolf Eichmann, and what really happened in 1960.
Chris Weitz recently explained to me that in order to make “Operation Finale” feel more cinematic the main alteration required was a compression of its time-frame, which increased the film’s urgency.
“It is really about compression of time. The truth of the matter is it took Mossad two years to get motivated to go after Eichmann, because they felt they had bigger fish to fry in terms of what was threatening Israel at the time.”
“So our compression of time makes it seem the need of the Mossad was much more urgent. That’s always where you end up taking liberties, in terms of its juxtaposition with the plot. But nothing was invented overall.”
During our chat, Weitz also broke down the books and memoirs that both aided and slightly hindered his research and development of “Operation Finale.”
“It was probably more Peter Malkin’s memoir, ‘Eichmann In My Hands,’ rather than any particular book.”
“But the thing about this mission is that a number of agents wrote about it in their memoirs. They are often contradictory for each other, understandably because everyone wanted to big up their own role in the drama.”
“Some of the books that you think would be most useful are actually not terrible useful. Like Hanna Arendt’s book, ‘The Life Of The Mind,’ because her attitude was not correct towards Eichmann. He was not just a cog. He was a willing participant to it happening.”
“For me, every movie is a research project as well, so a lot of research goes into it.”
Starring Ben Kingsley as the former Nazi Eichmann, and Oscar Isaac, Melanie Laurent and Nick Kroll as the Mossad agents hired to find and capture the architect of the Holocaust, “Operation Finale” is now in cinemas.