×

Listen: Oscar Isaac, Chris Weitz on the Challenge of Creating Nazi Leader Adolf Eichmann’s Capture in ‘Operation Finale’

WASHINGTON — “Operation Finale,” the new movie about the Israeli Mossad’s capture of Adolf Eichmann, portrays the former Nazi leader as a family man living a quiet life in 1960s Argentina.

“We would like to kind of dismiss these perpetrators of the Holocaust as ‘the other,’ as Nazis and stock villains and Germany as a unique scenario, Germany in the 1930s” director Chris Weitz tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” podcast on SiriusXM. “But I think one of the theses of the film is that the people who perpetrated these crimes were normal people, perhaps ambitious, perhaps careerists, in Eichmann’s case very manipulative, but people nonetheless. We have to face up to the possibility that in the right situations we ourselves might be involved in something like this.”

Oscar Isaac plays Peter Malkin, the secret agent who physically nabbed Eichmann, portrayed by Ben Kingsley, and later is assigned to guard him in a hideout as they wait for a transport back to Israel. Malkin’s sister died in the Holocaust along with other relatives, and some of the key scenes are conversations between Eichmann and Malkin.

“It’s so psychologically fraught, what he had to do, the courage of Peter Malkin to be in that room,” Isaac says. “He was supposed to just be the muscle. He wasn’t supposed to talk to the guy… His natural curiosity and his unresolved issues that he had, because he exemplified what was happening for a lot of people at that time in Israel, which was just don’t talk about it. Move forward. We have to build a nation, move on.”

He continued, “But as we all know, it just stays there. It festers. …But then when confronted with this pure evil, and seeing that it is just this sad guy. It is almost more shameful that this is the person that did this to our people, not some mythical demon.”

Weitz and Isaac attended a recent screening of “Operation Finale” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Listen below:

PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 p.m. ET/11 a.m.-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

More Politics

  • Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Donate

    Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro Join Hollywood's Buttigieg Bandwagon

    Pete Buttigieg has built a devoted following in Hollywood over the last few months, helping him lead the Democratic field in fundraising for the second quarter. In a filing released Monday night, Buttigieg disclosed contributions from a bunch of bold-faced names, including Jennifer Aniston, Tig Notaro and Larry David. Buttigieg held numerous fundraisers in the [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk — and success — hanging [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein Bail Decision Delayed, More Accusers Coming Forward

    Jeffrey Epstein won’t find out if he’s going to be released on bail until July 18, even as prosecutors argued that the multimillionaire businessman presents a flight risk and could endanger his accusers unless he remains in jail. At a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Monday, Epstein’s legal team said their client is willing [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    FTC Approves $5 Billion Fine Against Facebook for Privacy Violations

    The Federal Trade Commission voted to fine Facebook around $5 billion for violations of the FTC’s consumer-privacy rules, according to multiple media reports — the biggest privacy-related fine in the commission’s history. The $5 billion figure may be a record-breaker, but it represents less than Facebook reported in net profit ($5.43 billion) for the first [...]

  • United States Secretary of Labor Alexander

    Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta Resigning Amid Epstein Controversy

    Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has tendered his resignation to President Trump after facing criticism for a plea deal he struck with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 after Epstein was charged with luring teenage girls to his mansion for sex. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump made the announcement Friday, telling reporters that Acosta [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    Donald Trump's Blocking of Critics on Twitter Again Ruled Unconstitutional

    Donald Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution when he blocks specific users on Twitter, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding a lower court’s decision. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday ruled that the First Amendment does not allow public officials who use social media in an official capacity to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content