JULY 4, 1976 ENTEBBE, UGANDA – Led by Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, crack Israeli commandos race from their airplanes covered by the midnight darkness.
Methodically, they approach a non-descript airline terminal, burst inside, killing the stunned terrorists. Helpless and shocked, 103 hostages lift their heads and gratefully weep at the mesmerizing sight of their saviors.
As the alarms begin to sound, the Israeli soldiers strike with surgical precision and speed — a lightning bolt of controlled, finely rehearsed fury.
It is all over in a few minutes.
Terrorists lay dead.
The hostages rush out to board the transport planes waiting to evacuate the hostages to safety.
During the mission, shots burst in the night — and a sharp cry for help is heard. That cry would become the cry of an entire nation, mourning the loss of its prodigal son…
Thirty-year-old Yonatan Netanyahu has been shot dead.
After leading the dramatic raid to free the hostages at Entebbe, Yonatan Netanyahu becomes the “impossible mission’s” most tragic casualty.
With his death, Yonatan became an international hero.
FOLLOW ME: The Yoni Netanyahu story is an intimate journey into a young hero’s mind. The narration for this compelling film was drawn from Yonatan Netanyahu’s own letters and words, which unveil the complex character of this thoroughly modern young hero. Yonatan’s words are deeply moving through his deep-rooted introspection, self-understanding, and heartfelt passions.
Yonatan Netanyahu’s American/Israeli adolescent life took a dramatic turn when he entered the Israeli military at the age of eighteen. His thoughts and worry turned from relationships and girls to guns and nationalism. Through his bravery and selflessness on the battlefield, he was recognized as a national hero. However, Yonatan questioned the core value of war. Obsessed with his duty to his young country, he put aside his personal life and feelings, resulting in a failed marriage. Years later, Yonatan would find love again and vow to change his life’s course… but it was not meant to be, as his life was suddenly cut down on the airstrip in Entebbe, Uganda.
What makes Yonatan’s story both universal and unique are his poetry, prose and letters which allow us to see beyond this tough soldier’s exterior, into a deep inner personality where heroism, duty, love, turmoil and doubt raged. Yonatan’s writings describe with striking clarity the exhilaration and fear he faced during the critical crossroads of his short but fascinating life. But the most important aspect of Yonatan’s letters is the recognition of his human frailty. Yonatan’s sensitivity to his shortcomings and flaws led to his seemingly prophetic knowledge that these very flaws would lead to a tragic, untimely death. Nevertheless, Yonatan Netanyahu dared to make a difference, and is a true modern day hero.
Featuring interviews with three Israeli Prime Ministers, Yoni’s ex-wife (for the first time on film), and recently released audio from the Entebbe operation itself—–Follow Me brings a rare portrait of Israel’s elite soldiers and their greatest hero to the big screen.
The film consists of two story arcs that tragically and heroically connect. The first is the dramatic Entebbe hijack and rescue — 8 days when a nation held its breath and executed a military miracle that redefined the Jewish Nation’s call – “Never Again!” The second is the remarkable life story of Yonatan Netanyahu, a young soldier who struggled to find the balance between his family and the Nation he loved.
This film is about Yonatan’s life, and what led these two dramatic story arcs to intersect on that fateful day.