John Mercer (Andy Buchan) is an assassin for the state - beholden to his sinister master but not the boundaries of the law.
Released from prison unexpectedly early, Mercer is introduced to Lenny Douglas, a police officer retired on the grounds of "ill health". He quickly realises his newfound freedom comes at a price. Douglas runs an unofficial operation with a single brief: dealing with untouchable criminals and disorganising crime. Mercer's role is that of hitman.
On hand to help Mercer fulfil each hit are Calum, whose main interests are girls, drugs and music, and the sharp tongued but seductive Rose, an ex-copper forced out of the police by scandal. The team are brought together to bring order where the law has failed. But can operating outside the usual parameters of the law – even under the pretext of protecting it - ever be justified?
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Fixer - The Fixer (novel) - Netflix
The Fixer is a novel by Bernard Malamud published in 1966 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. It won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction (his second) and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Fixer provides a fictionalized version of the Beilis case. Menahem Mendel Beilis was a Jew unjustly imprisoned in Tsarist Russia. The “Beilis trial” of 1913 caused an international uproar and Beilis was acqitted by a jury. The book was adapted into a 1968 film of the same name starring Alan Bates (Yakov Bok) who received an Oscar nomination.
The Fixer - Plot summary - Netflix
The novel is about Yakov Bok, a Jewish handyman or “fixer”. In 1911, while living in Kiev without official papers, Bok is arrested on suspicion of murder when a Christian boy is killed during Passover. Jailed without being officially charged and denied visitors or legal counsel, Bok is treated poorly and interrogated repeatedly in the hopes he will confess to killing the boy as part of a Jewish religious ritual. Among other things, he is asked about his political views, and replies that he is apolitical. Bok also tries to explain to his captors that though he was born Jewish, he is not a religious man. During his many months in prison, he has time to contemplate his sad life and human nature in general. Part of Bok's torment is the knowledge those who attempt to help him are subjected to harassment and/or arrest by the government. After his father-in-law bribes a guard to allow him to speak with Bok, the prison guard is arrested and incarcerated. Bok's main advocate and supporter, Investigating Magistrate Bibikov, is arrested on trumped-up charges after visiting Bok in prison. Bibikov is kept in solitary confinement until he eventually commits suicide. The only person permitted to visit Bok is his wife, who left him just before the novel began. She is only permitted to visit him because she promised to get him to sign a statement confessing to the murder of the Christian boy; ultimately Bok refuses to sign the statement because he did not commit the crime. It is during his wife's visit that he learns of his father-in-law's death and of his wife's child from her ex-lover. It is through his suffering Bok finally finds it in his heart to forgive his former wife and agrees to claim her bastard child as his own in order to help her regain respectability within the Jewish community. In the last chapter of the novel, after spending over two years in prison, Bok is finally charged with an official crime and brought to trial. Only once he is charged is Bok finally permitted to obtain and speak with a lawyer. He is told by his lawyer that his case is only a symptom of a greater problem in Russia; if Bok had not been arrested for the murder, another Jew would have been. The lawyer also informs Bok there is great concern amidst the Jewish community that another great pogrom will happen. In the final scene of the novel, while on his way to court Bok has an imaginary dialogue with Tsar Nicholas II, blaming the Tsar for ruling over the most backward and regressive regime in Europe. It is during this final sequence of events that Bok's transport is attacked and at least one Cossack guard is maimed. Bok famously concludes “there is no such thing as an apolitical man, especially a Jew.”