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The Gatekeepers

Oscar Nominee! Best Documentary Feature

“The Gatekeepers tells the story of Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet. Director Dror Moreh manages to get all six of the surviving former heads of the organization to discuss in detail the evolution of Shin Bet since the 1967 Six-Day War.
“Moreh coaxes astounding material out of these men. The standard alternating of talking-head testimony with archival footage is so often simply the default for documentaries, but in The Gatekeepers, the remarkable candor of the interviewees makes it essential.
“The Six-Day War marked a turning point for Shin Bet, the point at which the group's focus turned much more intensely to counter-terrorism. Major events, tackled for the most part in the order they happened in, are used as the focal point for each of the movie's sections, from the war to the Oslo Accords to Yitzhak Rabin's assassination to the Second Intifada of the early 2000s.
“Given the sensitive information, and the thorny moral and ethical issues at play, you might expect the men to hedge and stonewall, so their openness is impressive and refreshing—and sometimes frightening. When Moreh presses former Shin Bet director Avraham Shalom on his role in ordering the execution of two Arab bus hijackers who had already been restrained, Shalom responds blithely, "In the war on terror, forget about morality."
“Other interviewees may not be quite as overtly provocative, but their segments are no less revelatory. Many wax philosophical. How'd Moreh get such candor out of his subjects? Who knows. It could have been that they were eager to get these things off their chests, or it could have been Moreh's skill as an interviewer. But in addition to a wealth of archival footage illustrating the content of the interviews, Moreh adds in some fairly subtle "re-enactments" that take existing still photos and animate scenes around them. In a lesser documentary, that little trick might be a focus, but here it simply blends into the background.” - Ian Buckwalter, The Atlantic

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The Gatekeepers

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