Prisoner X

December 2010. A prisoner is found dead in his cell at one of Israel’s maximum security prisons. He hung himself after 10 months in solitary confinement, and under 24/7 surveillance. None of the guards knew his name, or the nature of his crime. They knew him only as “Prisoner X”.

The Israeli government placed a blanket gag order on the reporting of the story. The Prisoner’s identity remained a mystery for another three years when an Australian journalist revealed the prisoner was Australian citizen Ben Zygier, an alleged Mossad agent. The film presents Ben Zygier’s untold story, digging into the emotional, personal and political fallout of his story, but also poses the question: “What happens when you dare ask: ‘What happened?’”

Testimonies paint a picture of a young agent whose ambition to excel did not match his actual skills, and that his mental fitness did not fit the profile of that required from a Mossad agent. The tension between the different, and at times contradictory versions of “Prisoner X”’s story, allows for dramatic storytelling and raises important questions of government transparency, and censorship, and the abuse of power “in the name of security”.

What happened to turn a devout Jew and Mossad agent into someone seen as so dangerous by the state of Israel, his very identity had to be erased? What did he actually do? This feature documentary investigates….


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 90 min, & 3 x 52 min
  • Production: Medalia Productions
  • Director: Hilla Medalia, Amos Roberts
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Israel & Australia


  • Jerusalem Film Festival 2023 (Israel)

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