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'The Gatekeepers,' Israel's unprecedented look at itself

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

The six former heads of Shin Bet finally spill the beans.


As cinema, The Gatekeepers relies on talking head interrogation punctuated by brief archival footage and lengthier digitally animated dramatizations of military and media surveillance footage. This stylized affectation recalls Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure, but mostly comes across like a clunky first person shooter video game.

Ultimately, Moreh’s interviews present a treacherous moral maze where men of serious intent struggle with their sense of duty and decency. They each have a uniquely insider view and, from that perspective, express dwindling hope for the future. Avraham Shalom, regarded as the most ruthless of Shin Bet’s directors, concludes that, if progress is to be made, diplomacy and compromise must replace killing. But he observes: “The future is bleak. We’ve become cruel, to ourselves as well.”

 

The Gatekeepers

Dir. Dror Moreh; feat. Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom, Avi Dichter, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Yuval Diskin (PG-13)
Opens March 29 at the Bijou

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