Argentina filming locations for Operation Finale

Period movie Operation Finale filmed entirely in Argentina to tell the true story of a post-war man-hunt instigated by Israel’s Mossad intelligence service.

Period movie Operation Finale filmed entirely in Argentina to tell the true story of a post-war man-hunt instigated by Israel’s Mossad intelligence service.

Set 15 years after the end of the Second World War in 1960, the film follows a team of Mossad agents as they seek to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust.

Argentina filming locations for Operation Finale
Operation Finale

Eichmann is eventually found living in Argentina.

The film’s backing studio MGM originally pushed for a lower-cost shoot in Budapest.

However, director Chris Weitz was keen to pursue greater authenticity by filming in the country where the Mossad operation had taken place.

Weitz’s production team spent around six months in total scouting locations for the ten-week shoot. Mariano Cukar was the film’s supervising location manager.

“The main locations were located in three main areas,” Cukar tells KFTV. “Buenos Aires metropolitan area, Bariloche in the Argentinean Patagonia for scenes in the forest and the house in Austria, and a small town called Olivera located 130 km from Buenos Aires for the Eichmann house.”

Numerous changes were made to the locations to make them convince as story settings in central Europe, Israel and period Argentina.

“We had important art department interventions on almost all the locations to match Buenos Aires during 1960, but probably the most important changes were made to match Israel,” Cukar tells KFTV.

Operation Finale

“We completely changed a theatre in Buenos Aires to match the interior of the [Israeli] court where Eichmann is judged (and) the exterior of Eichmann’s house was built from nothing on the outskirts of Olivera," says Cukar.

Cukar has worked on several Hollywood studio movies including Alejandro Inarritu’s Oscar-winning wilderness story The Revenant, which headed to the southern tip of Argentina in pursuit of snow when Inarritu’s production team was beaten by the onset of spring in Alberta, Canada, which was the main filming location.

More recently, Cukar worked on Marvel’s superhero movie Ant-Man and the Wasp, for which Argentine locations were originally considered for scenes set in Buenos Aires that were eventually cut from the finished film.

Operation Finale

Cukar is optimistic about Argentina’s continuing appeal to high-profile international productions.

Indeed, Fernando Meirelles’ Netflix movie The Pope, starring Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as his successor and current Pope Francis, filmed scenes in Argentina at the same time as Operation Finale.

A recent fall in the value of the Argentine peso should help attract more international filmmakers to the country, Cukar tells KFTV.

The country has historically been particularly popular for commercial campaigns and the peso's drop could help stimulate the market.

Buenos Aires is long-established as a convenient – and cost-effective – double for European cities where commercial producers can find sunny conditions during the northern hemisphere’s winter months.

“I think international producers have always appreciated the quality of Argentinian crews and we have available here some of the latest equipment – for Operation Finale only a specific set of lenses had to be flown into the country,” says Cukar.

“Probably the main ‘problem’ we have is the instability of our economy that makes Argentina sometimes very attractive and sometimes quite expensive, and it makes it hard to establish a long-term partnership between local producers and international producers.”

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Argentina.

Images courtesy of Mariano Cukar.

Argentina filming locations for Operation Finale
Operation Finale

Period movie Operation Finale filmed entirely in Argentina to tell the true story of a post-war man-hunt instigated by Israel’s Mossad intelligence service.

Set 15 years after the end of the Second World War in 1960, the film follows a team of Mossad agents as they seek to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust.

Eichmann is eventually found living in Argentina.

The film’s backing studio MGM originally pushed for a lower-cost shoot in Budapest.

However, director Chris Weitz was keen to pursue greater authenticity by filming in the country where the Mossad operation had taken place.

Weitz’s production team spent around six months in total scouting locations for the ten-week shoot. Mariano Cukar was the film’s supervising location manager.

“The main locations were located in three main areas,” Cukar tells KFTV. “Buenos Aires metropolitan area, Bariloche in the Argentinean Patagonia for scenes in the forest and the house in Austria, and a small town called Olivera located 130 km from Buenos Aires for the Eichmann house.”

Numerous changes were made to the locations to make them convince as story settings in central Europe, Israel and period Argentina.

“We had important art department interventions on almost all the locations to match Buenos Aires during 1960, but probably the most important changes were made to match Israel,” Cukar tells KFTV.

Operation Finale

“We completely changed a theatre in Buenos Aires to match the interior of the [Israeli] court where Eichmann is judged (and) the exterior of Eichmann’s house was built from nothing on the outskirts of Olivera," says Cukar.

Cukar has worked on several Hollywood studio movies including Alejandro Inarritu’s Oscar-winning wilderness story The Revenant, which headed to the southern tip of Argentina in pursuit of snow when Inarritu’s production team was beaten by the onset of spring in Alberta, Canada, which was the main filming location.

More recently, Cukar worked on Marvel’s superhero movie Ant-Man and the Wasp, for which Argentine locations were originally considered for scenes set in Buenos Aires that were eventually cut from the finished film.

Operation Finale

Cukar is optimistic about Argentina’s continuing appeal to high-profile international productions.

Indeed, Fernando Meirelles’ Netflix movie The Pope, starring Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as his successor and current Pope Francis, filmed scenes in Argentina at the same time as Operation Finale.

A recent fall in the value of the Argentine peso should help attract more international filmmakers to the country, Cukar tells KFTV.

The country has historically been particularly popular for commercial campaigns and the peso's drop could help stimulate the market.

Buenos Aires is long-established as a convenient – and cost-effective – double for European cities where commercial producers can find sunny conditions during the northern hemisphere’s winter months.

“I think international producers have always appreciated the quality of Argentinian crews and we have available here some of the latest equipment – for Operation Finale only a specific set of lenses had to be flown into the country,” says Cukar.

“Probably the main ‘problem’ we have is the instability of our economy that makes Argentina sometimes very attractive and sometimes quite expensive, and it makes it hard to establish a long-term partnership between local producers and international producers.”

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Argentina.

Images courtesy of Mariano Cukar.

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