Netflix’s recent spate of international offerings includes an adaptation of Israeli author Amir Gutfreund’s Heroes Fly For Her, titled “When Heroes Fly.” The series appears to be rather loosely based on Gutfreund’s book, focusing on a rescue plot that takes up only 50 pages or so in the original 600-plus page epic, which covers decades of Israeli history, from the Six Day War to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, through the perspectives of a group of childhood friends from Haifa. Character names and descriptions, the details of the rescue plot, the timeline of events and many additional details have also been changed in the adaptation from page to small screen.
Critical reception for the show has been largely positive. Haaretz notes, “It’s not the best Israeli show ever, for sure, but it is one of the most ambitious,” and compares it to the critically lauded and beloved show “Faluda.” The series has an IMDB score of 7.4 and a 100% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Israeli production company Keshet is already working on a second season, and an American version is also in the works.
Alas, Gutfreud’s Heroes Fly For Her has yet to be translated into English, but some of his other works, including the novels Our Holocaust and The World a Moment Later, both translated by Jessica Cohen, as well as the mystery/thriller Last Bullet Calls It, translated by Yardenne Greenspan and Evan Fallenberg, are available on Amazon and elsewhere.