February 25, 2010, Updated September 24, 2012

British actor Colin Firth of Single Man fame will play the role of Avraham ‘Yair’ Stern, founder and leader of the Lehi underground movement, in director Michael Winterbottom’s new movie about Israel The Promised Land, to be filmed this summer.

Lehi was a militant Jewish underground movement active during the time of the British Mandate. The Promised Land will tell the story of two British police officers and their struggles with Lehi activity. The officers will be played by Jim Sturgess and Matthew Macfadyen.

The British director said in an interview that he has been planning for some time to direct a film that takes place against the backdrop of Palestine during the British Mandate, because he feels that too little is known by English audiences about what happened under the British occupation of the area and he believes that the period has many implications for the present time.

Winterbottom added that he plans to focus on the Jewish underground in the film, which is slated for release next year.

Firth’s casting for the role was announced during the Berlin Festival, at which Winterbottom was showing his most recent film The Killer Inside Me.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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