Created by Yaron Arazi
Producers: Micky Rabinovitz & David Silber
About the Movie
Tom Shethar (45) is a charismatic pseudo evangelical preacher who handpicks the most vulnerable followers from a Texas Megachurch he attends, in order to start his own religious cult. The cult’s ideology is a mixture of Christian End Times prophecies and historical Jewish zealotry. Shethar is obsessed with the part historical part mythic story of the 960 Jewish zealots - the Sicarii rebels – who committed mass suicide on mount Masada (73 AD) so that they will not be caught alive by the Romans. According to Shethar, we are living in similar times as the Sicarii with atheism and moral corruption replacing the Romans as the evil enemy. In order to hasten the End Times and fix the world, a major human sacrifice is needed – Another mass suicide of exactly 960 believers on top of the mountain at a specific symbolic date. This horrific act will send shock waves across the world and will cause humanity to get back to god. It will also secure a place in heaven for those who sacrificed themselves and their families.
Shethar’s plan is to fraudulently get a permission for 960 American “volunteers” to work in and around the Masada national park in Israel under the guise of an archeological mission. This will ensure them unlimited access to the mountain. Exactly one year after their arrival, at dawn, they will ascend Masada and kill themselves.
Shethar, who has no intention of taking his own life and is driven by a different agenda, enjoys the power of controlling his flock in every way possible and using his charisma to turn into a godlike guru.
Julia Sullivan (35), Is an FBI agent who specializes in emotionally manipulative men who assert power on women and weaker individuals and take advantage of them to commit crimes. Charles Manson and Jim Jones would have been right up her ally if she was their contemporary.
Julia’s backstory - a survivor of a charismatic and abusive father who turned her family into a mini-cult– is the reason she is so perceptive and easily recognizes all the manipulations and “technics” these men always use.
When the Bureau starts to notice the cult and investigate Shethar’s real agenda, Julia is the perfect agent for the case. She goes undercover and joins as follower number 960, the last available spot.
But all of Julia’s professional and personal experience does not prepare her for Tom Shethar. He is by far the most sophisticated and elusive man she has ever encountered. While on the case, Julia will fall in love with Tom and put the investigation in grave danger. Contrary to everything she believed about herself, and the promise she made to her mother not to make the same mistake with men, she will surrender to Shethar and turn, at least temporarily, into the real follower #960 and a double agent.
Her journey back to the right side will be the toughest test of her character. The lives of the cult’s followers will depend on her success.
Rapture is a combination of an action-packed suspense story, a tale about faith and self-delusion and a deeply personal psychological drama between two strong-willed and complex characters. And it all takes place in one of the most symbolic and majestic locations in the world. Masada’s surroundings are beautiful and mysterious. The Judaean desert that lends itself to “Mad Max” like visuals and action scenes, the famous Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) and the beautiful Kibbutz Ein Gedi.
There is no better setting for a bigger than life drama than this most inspiring and full of historical significance location.
The perfect stage for a story about the power and abuse of belief and religion.