Thursday, October 12, 2023

Cohen on the Bridge: Rescue at Entebbe (short)

Ever since it was founded, Israel’s neighbors have tried to wipe it off the face of the earth, but the Israeli people have always successfully risen to their own defense. Yet, they have often paid a tragically high price for their freedom. The rescue at Entebbe that resulted in Yoni Netanyahu’s heroic sacrifice obviously has extra resonance in the days following Hamas’s genocidal terror attacks. Perhaps more importantly, it is also an example of Israeli resilience. This is indeed a fitting week to revisit the Entebbe mission, particularly given the economy and style of Andrew Wainrib’s short animated documentary, Cohen on the Bridge, which is now available on Vimeo VOD.

Amir Ofer was the first soldier to breach the terminal at Entebbe International Airport. However, his story started much earlier during the Holocaust, when a man wearing a National Socialist uniform held his grandmother at gunpoint on the Mostar Bridge. Eventually, he will explain the dramatic parallels between her story and the Entebbe raid.

There were other connections between Entebbe and the Holocaust, because many of the hostages were survivors. The Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris stopped in Athens, where the non-existent security allowed the PLO and Leftist German terrorists to board the plane with grenades and automatic weapons. Documentaries like
Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story do a nice job explaining the hijacking and the rescue, but Wainrib’s twenty-one-minute short does a comparable job in a quarter of the time.

The striking black-and-white animation also gives the film a vibe very much like film noir or vintage war movies, which is not inappropriate. Oded Fehr (from
The Mummy and Resident Evil franchises) narrates the film, assuming Ofer’s persona. His warm reassuring voice really seals the deal for the emotionally resonant conclusion.

This is a great short doc, but its sudden timeliness is truly horrific. It is an inspiring story of good triumphing over evil, but not without significant loss. Highly recommended,
Cohen on the Bridge is available for rent on Vimeo for a mere ninety-nine cents.