‘Our Boys’

Based on true events, Our Boys follows the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of a teenage Palestinian boy outside his home in East Jerusalem. As Shabak agent ‘Simon’ (Shlomi Elkabetz – To Take a Wife, Tel Aviv/Beirut) leads the investigation, violent demonstrations erupt.

In 2014, three Jewish teenagers were kidnapped, their bodies found shortly after. The whole of Israel was shocked. Just a few days later, the mutilated body of teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was found a few kilometres outside Jerusalem. He’d been set alight whilst still alive. Israelis were left reeling. As Khdeir’s father (Johnny Arbid – Zaytoun, Close to Home) fights for justice for his son against a system offering little support, so the likely perpetrators are tracked and monitored.

Exploring home life rarely portrayed on television – the dramas linked to the angry and grieving Palestinian family juxtaposed with the disbelief that Yeshiva students could be responsible for such a heinous crime – Our Boys is a captivating miniseries. The psychology of guilt – particularly with the youngest of the three, Avishai (a desperate Adam Gabai – Tmunat Hanitzahon, Hunting Elephants) – against the justification of the act is perfectly played out as ‘Simon’ becomes more and more embroiled in the case, leading to his position becoming compromised.

Powerful and confronting, Our Boys is no easy watch as lines of investigation are ruled out as mounting violence escalates and pressure is placed on Simon to make an arrest. It’s compassionate, empathic, thought-provoking, challenging – and, as personified by the boy’s mother (Ruba Blal – Sand Storm, Wajib), deeply sad.

Rating: 74%


International Emmy award-winning miniseries, Tehran sees Mossad agent Tamar Rabinyan (Niv Sultan) on her first assignment risk her life (and others) to gain access to the Iranian mainframe.

An Iranian Jew by birth, Rabinyan slips into Tehran via a Jordanian Air passenger plane forced to land with a technical fault. But her arrival does not go unnoticed. Unexpected complications into the hacking of the cyber network to allow Israeli jets to destroy nuclear reactors result in the young agent going rogue. Hooking up with a dissident student group – and Milan (Shervin Alanabi) in particular – she becomes of concern to both Iranian intelligence, headed by Faraz Kamali (Shaun Taub), and her own agency.

A cat and mouse game ensues as Tamar looks to complete her mission, stay alive and keep an unsuspecting Milan safe. It’s a suspenseful and well-paced eight part series with lots of twists and dirty tricks by both sides. Innocents inevitably suffer with such high stakes at play but Tehran also highlights the grey where personal conflicts and uncertainities impact idealised, political decision-making. Plot lines and Tamar’s decision-making are certainly, at times, questionable, but with its intrinisic humanity, Tehran is not a simple black and white, good versus bad espionage thriller.

Rating: 72%