When tapped to direct THE DEBT, John Madden had not seen HA HOV, the Israeli film on which it is based. When he read the script, he decided he wanted to see the original, but only once. The re-make follows the same general outlines, but Madden emphasized that it is its own entity, distinct and with a few surprises for those who have seen HA HOV. When I spoke with Madden on August 17, 2011, we talked about the sophisticated moral issues presented in the film, why a Danish actor made the perfect Nazi war criminal, and how Madden’s background in radio informs his work in visual media.
This remake of the Israeli film, HA HOV is a thriller that takes on thorny moral issues as it follows three Mossad agents during and decades after their mission to bring a Nazi war criminal to justice. The three are forced to confront decisions made under duress years earlier and the implications and obligations that the decisions visit upon them in the present. The film stars Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Tom Wilkinson, Martin Csokas, Sam Worthington, Ciaran Hinds, and Jesper Christensen.