Sacha Baron Cohen stars in Netflix series about famed Israeli spy Eli Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen, known for his outrageous comedy, is dipping into drama in The Spy.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has taken a role that is no laughing matter.

The closest Cohen has come to playing a spy is his comedic turn as Israeli intelligence “expert” Erran Morad to  dupe American politicians. His other characters are wilder still, like Borat and Bruno.

Come Sept. 6, the well-known performer will play the role of Israel’s most famous spy, Eli Cohen. The series, which will be available on Netflix, is called The Spy.

The series is directed by Gideon Raff, creator of the Netflix film The Red Sea Diving Resort earlier this year, which depicts the Mossad’s efforts as they attempt to save thousands of Ethiopian Jews, opening up a diving resort in Sudan as a cover for their dangerous rescue efforts.

Baron Cohen will depict the famed spy, who was recruited to the Mossad.

The series will show the pressure his secret profession put on his personal life and the relationship with his wife Nadia, portrayed by actress Hadar Ratzon-Rotem.

Raff made the artistic decision to depict scenes in Israel in black and white and Syrian ones in color.

This series will bring attention to Cohen’s heroic story, one that plays like a movie itself.

Cohen’s story is arguably one of the most intriguing of any international spy. He infiltrated the Syrian government by his own efforts. Not only did Cohen earn the trust of many Syrian officials, but the Egyptian-born Israeli became one of the most powerful people in Damascus in the years leading up to the 1967 Six-Day War.

Cohen became Syria’s chief adviser to the Minister of Defense, using the name Kamel Amin Thaabet.

Cohen was eventually captured. Israel attempted to work out a deal to set him free, but to no avail. He was hung in front of a crowd on May 18, 1965 in Damascus’ Marjeh Square.

The Syrian government refused to send his remains back to Israel. In July 2018, Cohen’s watch was sent back to Nadia after being retrieved by the IDF in Syria.

In mid-April, media reported that Cohen’s body had finally been found in Syria and that a Russian delegation left the nation with the spy’s casket. However, to this day, his body has not been returned to Israel for a proper Jewish burial.

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