Prisoners of War (Hatufim), 2009 to 2012.
Starring Gal Zaid, Yael Eitan, Salim Dau, Sendi Bar, Hadar Ratzon Rotem, Yaël Abecassis, Mili Avital, Assi Cohen, Adi Ezroni, Ishai Golan, and Yoram Toledano.
Three Israeli soldiers one of whom is in a coffin are part of a prisoner exchange 17 years after being captured in Lebanon.
The opening takes place in a hotel where notes are being exchanged from one room to another. It turns out the negotiation involves the release of prisoners of war which includes Israeli Defence Force reservists Nimrod Klein and Uri Zach as well as a coffin containing Amiel Ben Horin.
Although the captivity and torture may be over, Nimrod and Uri are returning to a homeland that feels like an alien environment. The two soldiers are interviewed by a military psychiatrist who senses that they are not telling the whole story of their ordeal and that one or both of them might be part of a terrorist plot against the state of Israel.
Flashbacks help to fill in the story gaps, and turmoil is constantly prevalent whether it be a wife having a family with her brother-in-law, a teenage daughter indulging in Internet dating with older men, a sister imagining the presence of her dead brother, nightmares which result in violent outcomes or opposing military organizations keeping secrets even from their own people.
The American version of the series Homeland which is executive produced by the creator of the original series, Gideon Raff, has taken two of the soldiers and turned them into the character of Marine Nicolas Brody portrayed by Damien Lewis (Band of Brothers). There are similarities between the two series but they are distinct in their own right.
Twists and turns are plentiful and suspenseful though the sex scenes feel more like filler and titillation. The story is at its best when trying to figure out if there is a traitor in the midst which gets blurred by all of the double-crossing that takes place. The best performances come from Ishai Golan (Uri), Assi Cohen (Amiel) and Yaël Abecassis (Talia Klein) while the antics of Yoram Toledano (Nimrod) and Yael Eitan (Dana Klein) become rather tiresome.
It is fascinating to watch an Israeli production about the Middle East conflict which inflicts daily psychological and physical damage upon those living there. The second season is helped by a major revelation at the end of season one which provides a different perspective to explore; it is also assisted by a tense rivalry which can only be concluded by someone getting killed. Needless to say, loyalties are continually being question, leading to the possibility of a third season taking place.