The Gatekeepers

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Shomerei ha’saf

“You’ll be arguing with your friends about the ethics of secrecy and defense for hours.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

Director: Dror Moreh
Year: 2012
Running time: 101 mins
Genres: Jewish, Politics

Producers: Dror Moreh, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky
Photography: Avner Shahaf
Editor: Oron Adar
Production designer: Doron Koren
Sound: Amos Zipori, Alex Claude
Music: Ab Ovo, Jérôme Chassagnard, Régis Baillet
In Hebrew with English subtitles
Colour and B&W/DCP

With: Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin

Festivals: Toronto, New York, Amsterdam Documentary 2012; Sundance 2013

The Gatekeepers has collected a shelf full of awards, and an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, too. Every scroll and statue is deserved. The film, by seasoned cinematographer Dror Moreh, is a feat – of access and of passionate and appropriately unsettling political commentary. I don’t know how Moreh persuaded six former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet secret service agency to talk to him; these are tough men who have never spoken about their work before… But talk they do – calmly, authoritatively – about terrorism, torture, war, compromise, the relationships between Israelis and Palestinians, and, most depressingly, about the relationships among Israelis  in a country being torn apart as much by citizens within as by enemies without. And what they have to say is unnerving, surprising, and vital.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly  

“It is hard to imagine a movie about the Middle East that could be more timely, more painfully urgent, more challenging to conventional wisdom on all sides of the conflict.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times