Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Hunters (Season 1) – Amazon Prime Video
Inspired by true events, Hunters follows a rag-tag group of Nazi hunters living in NYC in 1977 tracking down Nazis living in the U.S. working together to create a Fourth Reich and take over the world. Released by Amazon Originals, Created and Written by David Weil and Starring Al Pacino.
Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman) was living in NYC and being raised by his grandmother Ruth, who he called Savta meaning grandmother in Hebrew. While Jonah was home but upstairs, Ruth was murdered by an intruder that Jonah was only able to catch a glimpse as he shot is grandmother and fled. At his grandmother’s funeral Jonah met Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino), a well-known millionaire who shared that he and Ruth were in the camps together during the Holocaust and that due to their experience he told Jonah to contact him if he needed anything, saying it was not charity but a debt he owed his savta.
Angry over his savta’s murder and seeking revenge, Jonah connects with Meyer and learns that along with his savta, Meyer had organized a group of Nazi hunters to seek out the Nazi war criminals brought to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip at the end of the war. The team is introduced to viewers in an avant-garde style Bat Mitzvah: former MI6 agent Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany) mission and logistics planner; movie star Lonny Flash (Josh Radner ) master of mimicry and surprise; black power activist Roxy Jones (Tiffany Boone) counterfeiter, forger and crime scene cleaner; forever soldier Joe Mizushima (Louis Ozoawa) human weapon home from ‘Nam after three long tours; Holocaust survivors Murray and Mindy Markowitz (Saul Rubinek and Carol Kane), genius gadet-making weapons experts; and millionaire bankroller Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino) titan of design, master plotter and chief vigilante. Jonah had a natural gift at code breaking, which made him valuable to the team, so though his savta tried to keep him away, Meyer recognized Jonah’s natural place with the hunters.
Throughout the series, viewers learn about the hunters through flashbacks of their pasts related to the reasons they joined the team as they hunt down the most visible Nazi’s like rocket engineer Wernher von Braun, while building alliances with local police detective Millie Malone (Jerrika Hinton) to stay out of trouble and further their cause. The Hunters eventually discover that the Nazi’s in the U.S. are trying to secretly build a Fourth Reich led by The Colonel (Leno Olin) and work to stop the Nazis’ efforts in a coordinated attack on the U.S.
The biggest blowback about the series currently is that people in the Jewish community are upset due to some of the fictional events portrayed in the series, such as the human chess game (which there is no actual proof ever happened). Chess is a common theme throughout the series, and coincidentally the only person I met that had family in the camps shared a story about chess and how they used to save bits of their bread and use spit to mold chess pieces to have something to occupy their minds in the camp. Instead of saying these are falsities, they can share that the truth held even more horrific atrocities.
I personally feel this is bringing new light to the devastation of the Holocaust and causing people to question the government’s decisions and outcomes surrounding Operation Paperclip. Basically, at the end of the war with Germany, the U.S. was confronted with a challenging situation – either bring the best and brightest of the Nazi regime to the U.S. in an unprecedented witness protection program to have them work in the highest levels of security, research and science in the U.S. or let the Russians get them, which seemed a non-option during the time due to the U.S. Cold War with Russia.
I saw a recent interview on NBC Today with a Holocaust survivor that is spending his life going to schools to share his experience due to the understanding and fear that this horrible event in history is being forgotten and swept under the rug. Just as random DNA tests on ancestral sites are identifying criminals from the past, this series sheds light on heinous criminals provided a cushy life in the U.S. by our own government and hope it helps to reveal who they are and for them to experience the consequences of their actions.
Hunters is filled with great acting, strong character development, intriguing plot twists, and a completely unexpected turn in the final episode that will shock viewers and leave them longing for what’s next in Season 2.
Intended for Mature Audiences 18+ – Contains Adult Content, Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Strong Sexual Content and Nudity
10 Episodes: E1- 90 minutes E2-E10 – 60 minutes