- 1 Season
Autonomies is a dystopian television series that premiered on the Israeli television network HOT in 2018. The show was created by Yehonatan Indursky and Ori Elon, who previously worked together on the acclaimed Israeli drama series Shtisel. The show imagines a future in which Israel has been divided into two separate states: the secular State of Israel and the ultra-Orthodox Haredi Autonomy. The two societies are completely separate and have little interaction, but tensions between the two groups are high. The show begins with the disappearance of a prominent Haredi rabbi, setting off a chain of events that will ultimately challenge the status quo of both societies. The Haredim are in possession of a valuable piece of land, and the secular state is keen to reclaim it for development. Meanwhile, a group of hackers called the Free Israel Movement is trying to disrupt the Haredi Autonomy by spreading seditious material and creating chaos. The show is primarily centered around two characters: Broide, a detective in the secular State of Israel, and Mahdi, a young man in the Haredi Autonomy questioning his faith. Broide is tasked with investigating the kidnapping of the Haredi rabbi, which he initially believes to be the work of the Free Israel Movement. As the investigation progresses, however, Broide begins to realize that the situation is much more complicated than he initially thought. Mahdi, on the other hand, is a member of the Haredi community who is beginning to question the strict religious rules that govern his life. He is fascinated by a woman named Sarah, who is the daughter of the Haredi rabbi that has gone missing. Sarah is also questioning the strictures of her faith, and the two begin a tentative romantic relationship. As the two characters navigate the often-dangerous world of their respective societies, they begin to realize that their beliefs may not be as immutable as they once thought. Throughout the series, the tension between the secular State of Israel and the Haredi Autonomy builds to a boiling point. The conflicts between the two societies are not just political, but deeply rooted in cultural differences. The secular Israelis view the Haredim as backward and regressive, while the Haredim see the secular Israelis as immoral and godless. These tensions come to a head in a dramatic and explosive finale that leaves both societies forever changed. One of the most compelling aspects of Autonomies is its exploration of the intersection between religion and politics. The Haredi Autonomy is governed by a strict set of religious laws, and the show delves into how these laws shape every aspect of Haredi life. At the same time, the secular State of Israel is grappling with issues of national identity and the role of religion in a modern democratic society. The show poses difficult questions about how these two societies can coexist, or if they even should. Another noteworthy aspect of Autonomies is its bold visual style. The show uses a color palette dominated by shades of green and gray, creating a muted and subdued world that feels both claustrophobic and oppressive. The show’s cinematography is also innovative, utilizing close-ups and extreme angles to create a sense of intimacy with the characters. Overall, Autonomies is a thought-provoking and engaging television series that explores complex and timely issues. The show’s exploration of the intersection between religion, politics, and identity is both fascinating and relevant, and its bold visual style creates a world that feels both otherworldly and uncomfortably familiar.