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The Honourable Woman [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lubna Azabal, Eve Best, Andrew Buchan, Lindsay Duncan
  • Directors: Hugo Blick
  • Writers: Hugo Blick
  • Producers: Hugo Blick, Abi Bach
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Sept. 2014
  • Run Time: 480 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 630 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Written and directed by Bafta winner Hugo Blick and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honourable Woman is a fast-paced thriller set against an international backdrop. As a young girl, Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the armed wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Now in her late thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. Ennobled for her campaigning work, the newly made Baroness must fight forces that are conspiring against her as she awards a highly lucrative contract to a Palestinian businessman. When he is subsequently killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, The Honourable Woman tells the story of one woman's personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Alan Jones on 25 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
Maggie Gyllenhaal is excellent in this demanding, complex political and personal story about trust, betrayal, idealism, fanaticism, compromise and tragedy.

Hugo Blick has written and directed an important and significant piece of work. The cinematography and accompanying music create a moving and haunting exploration of the human condition in a part of the world once known as the Holy Land.

This is an exceptional television series which attempts to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the experiences of Nessa Stein, a wealthy Jewish businesswoman living in London. She is an idealist philanthropist who seems intent on trying to atone for the past actions of her dead father. She espouses the belief that terror thrives in poverty but dies in wealth. Along with her brother Ephra she finances a cabling infrastructure between Palestine and Israel with the hope that better communication between young people will lead to a better future. However, Nessa is a victim of circumstance. She has been born into a world in which her personal and business life is intertwined with the politics of the Middle East. On a visit to a university in the West Bank Nessa discovers that a large donation from the Stein Corporation is unaccounted for. Accompanied by Atika, her Palestinian interpreter, she naively decides to enter Gaza to pursue her investigations. Both are taken hostage by Hezbollah. The consequences resulting from this act forms the basis of this series.

This is a complex drama. Perhaps this is inevitable when examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but this series also involves members of a number of security services. As the languid spy Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, Stephen Rae is operating in George Smiley territory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD
'The Honorable Woman' could be the best TV series of the year. Accolades are too frivolous. Sundance TV and BBC have produced this series with Hugo Blick as the director/writer. It is at once an espionage thriller with Israel and the West Bank, and into the mix comes Britain and the United States. This is an eight-episode series about Israel and Palestinian. The director, Blick, does not take sides, and this is a very refreshing stance.

Nessa Stein, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, this is her series, is an Anglo-Israeli whose father sold weaponry used in battles with Palestinians. Nessa and her brother, Ephra, played by Andrew Buchan, inherit their father's company. Nessa makes the decision to foster peace between Israel and Palestine. And,this decision creates a minefield of problems.

One after another secrets are displayed and revealed, but we are not privy to them all, they come at us, one by one. This is a series about people, good and bad. The actors are some of the best in the business. Atika Halabi, played by Lubna Azabal, translator/nanny. Shlomo Zahary, played by Igal Naor, is an Israeli man vying for a contract with Nessa. Stephen Rea, one of my favorites, plays Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, head of the Middle East desk at MI5. Janet McTeer Dame Julia Walsh, Hugh's boss at MI5. And,Monica Chatwin, Eve Best, a foreign officer in Washington, D.C.

The combination of talent, characters, storyline brings us the best series I have seen in a long time. We are left to decide for ourselves what each side brings to the table.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-29-14
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By tallpete33 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
For some reason I was put off this by the title, not being somebody who scours the TV guides I assumed it would be a mediocre drama about some hoity-toity lady with butler issues, dusty family silver and lots of Earl Grey tea. Randomly switching into the second episode though, I was proved hugely wrong and dug out the Chromecast to catch up quickly. This is truly great stuff, a very dramatic, intelligent and thoughtful production with more twists and turns than the Nürburgring.

The newly ennobled Baroness Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is the head of the Stein corporation working alongside her brother Efra (Andrew Buchan, the father in Broadchurch) dedicating their lives and company to help bring some sort of harmony or at least collusion to the Middle East through their cabling infrastructure joining Palestine to Israel. The wheels come off dramatically in the opening scenes when the businessman awarded the contract is murdered on the day of the presentation dinner. This is much more than a corporate affair however as Nessa and her brother have placed themselves in the middle of the vipers nest. Where there is influence and information to be had, the terrorists and agencies of the US, UK and Israel are in at the sharp end with their own investigations - and agendas.

Gyllenhaal is superb as the business woman/peace campaigner. A complex character both fragrant and fragile, drifting around in her designer duds she is often difficult to like and has a cold and also reckless streak that she pays for more than once. When you learn of her back story that includes witnessing her father's murder as a child and retiring each night to sleep in her secure room, you do however slowly alter your opinion.
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