Coming to DVD from SHOUT Factory is one of the most amazing award winning series never before available with PRISONERS OF WAR: Season One.
This series begins when three Israeli soldiers are held captive for seventeen years. After negotiations, they are returned to Israel and families who have been painfully waiting for their return.
Nimrod Klein (Yoram Toledano) is reunited with wife Talia (Yael Abecassis), daughter Dana (Yael Eitan) and a son he has never met, Hatzav (Guy Selnik).
Also returning is Uri Zach (Ishai Golan) who returns to his father and brother Yaakov (Mickey Leon) who is now married to Uri’s one time fiancé Nurit (Mili Avital).
Returning home to be buried is the third soldier Amiel Ben-Horin (Assi Cohen), whose sister Yael (Adi Ezroni) is left to grieve alone.
The episodes include:
HOMECOMING – This episode introduces Nimrod and Uri back to their families. The two men must readjust to a world that has gone on without them.
THE FACILITY: Part One – Nimrod and Uri are taken to a facility for debriefing. Speaking with Haim Cohen (Gal Zaid), a psychologist, each man tells their story in pieces yet Haim believes they are hiding something.
THE FACILITY: Part Two – Psychologist Haim works hard to discover what the two men are keeping from him keeping them in the facility.
LETTERS FROM MOM – This is one of the most heartbreaking episodes as Uri must come to deal with the death of his mother who waited as long as she could for his return.
WHO LET THE DOGS OUT – It is Amiel’s funeral and Yael can not stop thinking about her brother. The gathering after the funeral leads to a confrontation between Talia and Nurit that is long overdue.
THE JOURNAL – Uri begins to write down the events of his captivity. Nimrod and Talia are trying to put the pieces of their marriage together while daughter Dana goes into counseling.
A PICTURE FROM HELL – This episode takes audiences inside the initial capture of the soldiers and the brutality they endured. Nimrod wants to learn more about technology from his son Hatzav to find out about the mysterious telephone number he was given upon his release.
FAMILY PORTRAIT – Nimrod and Uri begin to search for answers. Talia tells Nimrod of his nightmares and how they affect her. Daughter Dana is still as vicious as ever.
AWAKE THE NIGHT – Talia begins going to a support group while Nimrod and Uri meet up with the mysterious family behind the phone number.
THE TAPE – The truth of Amiel’s death comes to light. Hatzav has been lying to his mother about the military. Yael is still having trouble with her brother’s death. Iris and Haim go after Nimrod and Uri with a shocking ending.
FINAL WORD: This is such a stellar cast I don’t even know where to begin! Yoram Toledano as Nimrod is such a phenomenal actor. This is such an intense role filled with every emotion imaginable on the spectrum. My heart actually hurt to watch this character go through so much physical pain and then come home to equally haunting emotional pain. In the midst of the two is a mystery that I can not wait to see play out in Season Two.
Ishai Golan as Uri is equally a phenomenal actor. Playing opposite Toledano, Golan is so painfully quiet and haunted by the loss of his mother and the love of his life. The relationship with Nimrod is one that I don’t think anyone could imagine. With looks and signals that only these two men share, it is almost a continuation of the madness they left behind as prisoners. Golan has the look of a wounded human being with haunting eyes that just draw you in.
Abecassis as Talia is a woman who has waited and kept alive the hope of a returning husband. Dreaming of his return and the reality of it are not exactly what this mother of two foresaw. Eitan as Dana is just a girl who just absolutely rubs me the wrong way. Why someone hasn’t slapped the evil out of her in ten episodes I don’t know. She is manipulative, rude, and I sense more trouble to come. Selnik as Hatzav is a young man who doesn’t know his father and refuses to join the military with rightful fears.
Avital as Nurit is a woman who is confused. Having married Uri’s brother a few years after his capture, she is a hated woman in her country for not waiting for him to return. Leon as Yaakov is a brother who is still jealous and a husband who doesn’t know what to do. I say man up and tell your wife to stop living in the past but that’s just me.
Ezroni as Yael is such a shattered young woman. Led to believe her brother would return, she didn’t expect it to be in a casket. Spending time with her daydreams begins to cost her everything – including her sanity. Cohen as Amiel has his own story to tell and it’s being told little by little.
Other cast include: Salim Dau as Jamal, Sendi Bar as Iris, Hadar Rotem as Leila, Yousef Sweid as Abdallah, Shmuel Shiloh as Yoske, Yaara Pelzig as Ayelet, Edna Blilious as Orna, Abdallah El Akal as Ismail and Nevo Kimchi as Ilan.
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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give PRISONERS OF WAR four tubs of popcorn out of five. I’d give it a five but I want to leave room for what could be coming next in Season Two! This series is very intense and emotional giving it more depth than I’ve seen in a series in quite a long time.
Each individual in the series has a story to tell and each story gives such richness to the performances. The reconnecting of relationships also brings about more secrets instead of less. There are more questions than answers but then again I like that!
Since 2011, PRISONERS OF WAR has been the number one drama in Israel and I don’t find that hard to believe at all. The DVD includes bonus features with AN OPEN WOUND: Making Prisoners of War, interviews with cast and creator Gideon Raff along with episode commentaries with creator Raff and Director of Photography Itai Neeman. I highly recommend watching the bonus features!
In the end – after 17 years in captivity they are finally coming home.