The infamous Jewish-American spy Jonathan Pollard is the subject of the investigative documentary series "Pollard," which the French pay TV network Canal+ has purchased. It is the first sale made by ADD Content, the international representative for the book. Israeli free-to-air TV network Kan just showed the documentary.
In 1987, Pollard admitted to spying for Israel and giving them top-secret, sensitive material. He was then given a life sentence in jail in the United States. He presently resides in Israel after being released from prison in 2015.
Based on an investigation by Omri Assenheim, who worked as a correspondent for Uvda, the most watched current events programme on Israeli television for 16 years, "Pollard" was directed by Gilad Tocatly and Shani Haziza.
When Pollard came upon an Israeli combat hero in the late 1970s while working as an analyst for the U.S. Navy, a series of events were set in motion. The largest theft of its kind, he went on to steal over a million top-secret papers from the U.S. Navy Intelligence's most secure vaults over the course of a year and a half. Pollard's handlers abandoned him when his spying operations came to an end, leaving him in the street outside the Israeli Embassy at the FBI's mercy.
Shani Haziza, a producer of acclaimed documentary films for Israel's national broadcaster, and Tocatly, a well-known figure in the Israeli TV industry who served as Uvda's top director for 27 years each.
Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, founder and head of international at ADD Content, predicted that viewers of Channel+ would witness a real-life spy narrative unlike any other.
The most prolific theft of US security secrets, Pollard raised concerns early in his career but was not caught until then, said Lichtenstein. "Pollard is a fascinating, quirky figure," he continued.
A compellingly unsettling betrayal of both people and nations, as well as one man's avarice and ideology, were all told in the documentary, according to the executive.