Review: ‘Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story’

Half posthumous love letter, half historical re-enactment, "Follow Me" revisits Israel's near-mythic 1976 hostage rescue at Entebbe through the eyes of those who survived it, and one who didn't: Yonatan Netanyahu, the only Israeli officer killed in the raid.

Half posthumous love letter, half historical re-enactment, “Follow Me” revisits Israel’s near-mythic 1976 hostage rescue at Entebbe through the eyes of those who survived it, and one who didn’t: Yonatan Netanyahu, the only Israeli officer killed in the raid. Netanyahu was also a brother of Israel’s controversial current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and he’s recalled, via his words and others’ affectionate recollections, as a man among men. Somewhat overly adoring in tone, this labor-of-love docu is a natural for Israel-centric venues, but will have little traction elsewhere.

The Entebbe story is riveting, retold by many who were there — or, like then-Defense Minister Shimon Peres, were involved in the planning. But for all the laudatory words about Yoni Netanyahu — scholar, leader, military strategist, war hero — the portrait by helmers Ari Daniel Pinchot and Jonathan Gruber seems bloodless. The letters written to his parents, girlfriends and brothers sound like they were written to be read publicly one day; Marton Csokas’ readings are actorly to the point of distraction. And almost every photo of the pic’s subject looms as though composed by Richard Avedon. A more intimate touch would not have gone awry.

Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

Production

An Intl. Film Circuit release and presentation of a Crystal City Entertainment production. Produced by Ari Daniel Pinchot, Jonathan Gruber, Mark Manson, Stuart Avi Savitsky. Executive producer, Manson. Co-producer, Joe Becker. Co-executive producers, Richard Rieger, Heidi Rieger, Dennis Liebowitz, Andrew Berman, Lisa Berman, Mark Kingdon, Anla Cheng Kingdon, Thomas D. Stern, Denise R. Stern. Directed by Ari Daniel Pinchot, Jonathan Gruber. Written by Gruber.

Crew

Camera (color), David J. Goulding; editor, David Grossbach; music, Charlie Barnett. Reviewed on DVD, New York, May 6, 2012. (In Palm Springs Film Festival.) Running time: 87 MIN.

With

Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ben Zion Netanyahu, Shlomi Reisman, Shimon Peres.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading