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28th Toronto Jewish Film Festival TJFF2020 Part two: October 22 - November 1

Asylum City Episode Recap

ASYLUM CITY – PART ONE – EPISODES 1-4

Episode 1

Michal, is a young idealist who works with African asylum seekers. During one of her outreach visits she stumbles upon an illegal bank which caters to undocumented refugees and charges them exceedingly high interest rates and commission fees. Those who cannot pay – get beaten.

After Hagos, a refugee and a ward of Michal’s,  is sent back to his country and executed, Michal charges that the State Attorney’s office concealed reports by the foreign ministry,  that clearly assert that deporting people back to Narundi –is equal to a sentence of death. Yariv, a state prosecutor and Michal’s former lover, denies this and swears in court he doesn’t know anything about the existence of such documents.

Michal is unrelenting – confronting Yariv, as well as the thugs working for the bank and even her boss, Itay, who prefers to continue providing humanitarian care for the asylum seekers and not get in trouble with the authorities.

The following day, Michal is found dead in her own home. Detective, Anat Sitton, is placed in change of the investigation battling sexual discrimination, harassment and inter-police politicking,  while trying to navigate the underworld of illegal immigrants with codes and rules of their own.

 

Episode 2

The police investigation focuses on Gabriel, an Eritrean refugee who was close to Michal, and their prime suspect after a neighbor saw him fleeing her home.  Gabriel is on the run and the police are on the hunt to find him.

Everyone wants this investigation to end as soon as possible and with an obvious suspect – this should be easy.  That is everyone but Itay –who doesn’t believe that Gabriel could have hurt Michal and tries to get the detectives to focus on the illegal bank.

Shimon Farrow, is an arms dealer with a stellar military background, but he is also the man who operates the illegal bank, and serves as the cover for the government’s sale of prohibited arms to war-torn countries. As long as the police are snooping around, his businesses suffer. He must find a scapegoat and fast. Meanwhile, Yariv wakes up from a night of drinking with visible signs of a struggle and no recollection of the preceding events.

Episode 3

Gabriel tries to get money from the bank to save his sister Lidi, who was kidnapped by human-traffickers that are threatening to kill her if they don’t receive payment.

He approaches Ermi, an Eritrean who works as a translator to help him get money and release Lidi.

A politician, Regev takes advantage of the explosive situation in the neighborhood following the murder and recruits Natalie, a neighborhood activist and former policewoman on Anat’s squad.  Natalie suggests that Anat turns to her incarcerated father for help in mining his criminal connections for information.

As Anat and her team come closer to catching Gabriel, he decides to turn himself into the police and confess to Michal’s murder.

ASYLUM CITY – PART TWO – EPISODES 5-9

Episode 4

Gabriel turns himself in to the police with the help of Itay, and during the investigation confesses to the murder. However, not all the details match.  The search for the murder weapon and Michal’s lost cell phone are unsuccessful.

Itay, who is still certain of Gabriel’s innocence, opens an independent investigation and gets into trouble with the bank.  Meanwhile, Yariv tries to get information and details about the murder investigation and learns there is an African suspect in custody that has already confessed to the murder.

David, Anat’s reporting officer, asks Meron, a senior detective to help her with the reconstruction and direct her.

Farrow is approach by Gidi, a Mossad agent, and gets a tempting offer to sell attack helicopters to Narundi, in opposition to the U.N. sanctions and therefore illegal.  Regev offers Natalie to join him on his political campaign.

Episode 5

The murder reconstruction goes wrong when Meron directs Gabriel’s actions to fit hidden investigation details, and Anat has no choice but to stop it. David is displeased with Anat and takes her off the case.

Anat visits her father in prison and asks for his help with information about the bank. She later returns to the crime scene and discovers new details about the night of the murder.

Itay continues with his own investigation.

Farrow decides to take the arms deal and appoints Boaz, the bank’s accountant, to be the “face” of the organization in the transaction; the one that will sign all the documents in his name.  Farrow doesn’t tell Boaz that the deal is illegal and presents this as an arms transaction with Argentina – which would make it legit.

Galit, the prosecutor in charge of the murder case, tries to find out why Yariv is continuously trying to intervene in the case and warns him to back off.

Episode 6

Arye, Anat’s father, tells her what he found out about the bank.

Natalie confronts her husband, Doron, about her political endeavors.

Itay approaches Ermi, trying to figure out what was in his part in Lidi’s release, and realizes Gabriel was paid to confess to murder.

Anat warns Galit that something in the investigation is not quite right and learns that Michal and Yariv had a romantic connection that had ended badly. She later meets with Itay, who tells her about Boaz and his connection to the bank, the relationship between Michal and Yariv and the Foreign Ministry’s report.

The report describes clearly how Eritreans, who are deported to Ethiopia, are then sent to Narudi, where they are immediately executed. She also learns that Michal filed a complaint against Yariv with the bar association for concealing this evidence- which serves as a possible motive for Michal’s murder.

In addition, the forensic doctor informs Anat that one of the DNA samples collected at the murder scene belongs to a white person.

Episode 7

Boaz meets with the “Argentinians” to seal the arms deal.  However, after accidentally seeing someone else go into their room he realizes there is a third-party to the deal that he wasn’t aware of.

Yariv is intimidated by Anat’s questions and is unable to recall what really happened the night of the murder.

An alleged Eritrean embassy official arrives at the refugee dorm run by Itay, looking for Ermi. Itay sends him away and tells Ermi, who panics and decides to flee the country.

Farrow hears that Arye’s people are asking questions about the bank and decides to Anat under surveillance.

Anat and Itay try to trace the secret foreign ministry report and get to Tomer, a childhood friend of Michal’s who works in the ministry of foreign affairs. He tells them about the report and the mess it created. He also reveals that he was asked to delete it, but that the report was also sent to Yariv’s department.

Episode 8

Borochov, the Bank’s lawyer, comes to Argentina to make sure Boaz does not make mistakes.

Anat unofficially questions Inabr, Yariv’s fiancée, and Kobi, the friend he went drinking with the night of the murder, negating his alibi. When Yariv comes to the police stations, she manages to get his DNA without him knowing.

Lidi visits Gabriel in detention and persuades him to tell the truth, and Gabriel finally tells the police that Ermi arranged for a white and wealthy Israeli man to pay for Lidi’s release, in exchange for him confessing to the murder. Anat and Itay suspect the rich Israeli is Yariv and when it turns out the blood on the door actually belongs to him, Yariv is arrested.

Episode 9

Anat interrogates Yariv but he continues to lie until she presents him with the evidence they have against him. Yariv breaks down and admits to being in Michal’s apartment that night, but that he remembers nothing of what happened there.

Ermi doesn’t leave the country and Anat and Itay try to trace him, so he can testify that Yariv was the one who gave him the money to release Lidi.

Arye tells Anat she is under surveillance, and that he is keeping an eye on her to protect her.

Boaz suspects the arms deal is related to the deportation of the refugees.

The relationship between Anat and Itay is heating up and they become closer. In a sting operation, Anat arrests Doron (Natalie’s husband) who is in contact with Ermi and makes him reveal Ermi’s location which leads to his arrest.

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