A dramatic espionage plot uncovered in Russia and published in the foreign press, shakes Israel to its core. The award-winning ‘False Flag’ is now available at SBS On Demand.
SBS Guide

17 Apr 2020 - 9:07 AM  UPDATED 17 Apr 2020 - 9:07 AM

False Flag: Covert operations designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities.

False Flag tells the story of five Israeli citizens who find themselves plunged into a gripping international espionage affair overnight. These seemingly ordinary people, going about their daily business, wake up one morning to discover that they are implicated in a ruthless kidnapping operation following the disappearance of the Iranian Defence Minister while on a secret visit to Moscow.

All are Israeli dual citizens, their names and passports are leaked to the media; the governments of Russia and Iran blame Israel and the Mossad in particular. News bulletins repeatedly flash their names and passport photos on screen, linking them to video footage from the kidnapping. Their attempts at denial, followed by laughter, indifference and anger are all in vain. The coverage turns their lives upside down and sweeps them up in a storm of publicity and speculation. They are the subjects of the nation’s curiosity, mockery and admiration – all at the same time.

At first, everyone is convinced that Mossad was behind the showy operation – the methods, audacity and location leave no room for doubt. But then the five civilians are stunned to discover that the government, which is supposed to protect them, as well as Mossad itself, denies all involvement and accuses them as suspects. Instead of helping them, the authorities persecute, investigate and point fingers. Even their loved ones begin to doubt their innocence. Could they really have been involved?

All the alleged kidnappers appear to be normative people, ordinary and uninteresting. The news of their alleged involvement in the plot, without any warning or time to prepare, completely destabilises their lives. They try to maintain naïve appearances but each of them is clearly hiding something.

Once the initial turmoil dies down, the reality of what’s happened hits them hard: the members of the group realise they are on their own, defending themselves against bigger and stronger forces that won’t hesitate to manipulate them for personal gain. Straight away it becomes clear to the five that they are in real danger. One by one they are arrested, aggressively interrogated, and accused of espionage and treason. Not one of them has an alibi. When they are released – a ploy as part of the investigation – they learn that an anonymous rival has them in his cross-hairs.

Within a suffocating world of paranoia, where everyone is lying to everyone, they choose to trust one another. But trust does not come easily. The group has no common ground: each member has a different background, each has their own agenda. In such a scenario, even the most trivial conflict can become explosive.

The group is confronted by a covert operations Mossad agent trying to find out the truth. Motivated by his personal agenda, he knows his time is running out. During the investigation he learns that things are not as they seem. Eventually the agent and the group of suspects decide to join forces, breaking all the rules to crack the case and return to the normality of their former lives.

False Flag is an anthology series, with each season following its own self-contained story. Season 1 is now available to watch at SBS On Demand, and if you speed through it you will be happy to know season 2 will be coming soon.

False Flag season 1 now streaming at SBS On Demand.


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