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Action -Spies

Damascus Cover (2017)

Duration1h 33m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, 
Source of storyA 1977 book of the same name by Howard Kaplan 
DirectorDaniel Zelik Berk
Writers/ScriptDaniel Zelik Berk, Samantha Newton
StarringJonathan Rhys Meyers, Olivia Thirlby, Jurgen Prochnow, John Hurt, 
RatingsIMDb:  5.2 by 2186 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 14% by 22 reviewers.

Elevator Pitch: In 1989 Mossad agent Ari Ben-Sion is tasked with going to Damascus to bring a Jewish scientist and his family out of the country, but once there he finds himself negotiating a narrow path between his role as a purchaser of Eastern carpets and his underworld activities, during which he meets a number of other agents in place. He also coincidentally meets a female photographer who he first met in Jerusalem, and not quite trusting her finds that she visits the head of the Damascus security service, so wonders where her loyalties lie.

Content: There is some implied sex, with the participants seen before and after. We see an Israeli agent captured by the Syrians and eventually killed with a telephone. Ari undergoes training in Jerusalem where he learns the layout of the city he is to visit. He has meetings with the head of Mossad. Once in Damascus he dines with some Nazis and wanders about in the dark streets of the city. He is attacked at times and there are shootouts with hand guns. Eventually there is a climax in the desert.

A View: It has been quite difficult to write about this movie since I never at any time had the slightest idea of what was going on. I usually resort to Wikipedia in these situations but there is no plot description on the film’s page, so I went to a summary of the book, and watched the trailer, but neither helped much. The reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes also seemed to be unsure about the content, so only watch this if you are interested in working out what was going on, and don’t spend any money on it.

Additional Info: This was John Hurt’s last film before he died at the age of 77, so unfortunately not much of a memorial.  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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