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Honest Review of The Red Sea Diving Resort: The ‘white-saviour’ film will remind you of the existence of refugee crisis and racism

  • Published at 08:44 pm August 16th, 2019
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Story of the film centres on a crew of Israeli spies, led by Ari  Levinson, played by Chris Evans

Netflix’s original film,The Red Sea Diving Resort premiered on July 31 on the streaming site. The film is based on true events of the Ethiopian Jews Diasporas. 

Origin of the history of the Jewish community in Ethiopia, commonly known as Beta Israel is complicated, and wrapped in mysteries. 

However, in the 1970s and ‘80s, many factors worked as the catalysts which made the Beta Israelis to flee the country, with the help from the Mossad agents (national intelligence agency of Israel). 

Israel government officially recognized Beta Israel as Jews, and entitled them to Israeli citizenship in 1973. 

Story of the film centres on a crew of Israeli spies, led by Ari  Levinson (played by Chris Evans)- who orchestrated a daring operation in order to smuggle thousands of Ethiopian Jewish refugees out of Sudan- while running a beachfront hotel, The Red Sea Diving Resort. 


The film lacks proper character progression, and background information on each of the characters.  There is cliché attempt to objectify the lead men-characters by showing their half naked bodies. Most of Ari’s rescue plans are very fragile, and unrealistic. That also makes the audience doubt the real mission of the Operation Brothers, which I am sure were really organized, and well-planned. 

Directed by, Gideon Raff, the film doesn’t clarify why the Ethiopian Jews wanted to flee to Israel. In the very predictable story-line, at the end, Americans come to the aid of Mossad agents.

The viewers also don’t get any details on the agents’ Ethiopian counterpart, Michael Kenneth Williams (played by Kabede Bimro). Ben Kingsley’s character, Ethan Levin doesn’t seem much authentic either. Ari and his friends speak in American accent, while Ethan speaks in British accent. 

Dialogues of the film are very cliché, especially when Ari tries to convince his former partners to join him in the rescue mission. When “Hungry Like the Wolf,” plays in the film, it seems quite useless, and forced. 

Roberto Schaefer did the cinematography of the film, which doesn’t seem to be extraordinary. 

According to a report by the Time Magazine, Israeli government ran Operation Brothers from 1979 to 1984 to save the lives of Ethiopian Jews, which is the main plot of the film. Through the hotel on the East African coast, the refuges were smuggled by boat to safety and new lives in Israel. 

In recent years, official information about the real mission was declassified.

While watching the film, your conscience will ask you, what made the Israeli government so empathic towards the Ethiopian Jews, while so many rich Muslim countries are ignorant towards the Muslim refugees from Syria, Myanmar, and Afghanistan, etc. 

Unfortunately, there is also a flip side to the story. The film was released at a time when discrimination is on the rise in Israel towards the Ethiopian Israelis, due to racism. 

The real events that inspired this average film serves only as a reminder that racism, and refugee crisis are real, and still exist at the core of human survival, all over the world.