The Gatekeepers

March 2, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Posted in 2013 | 1 Comment
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Still on my documentary kick (after “56 Up” and “West of Memphis”), I had to see this much-buzzed Oscar nominated film about Israel’s Shin Bet.  Well, third time’s a charm.  I was absolutely fascinated by this movie every step of the way.  Somehow, director Dror Moreh managed to get all but one of the seven directors of the Shin Bet who served between 1981 and 2011 to sit down and be interviewed.  And be shockingly frank.  I was amazed to hear these men talk about missions, both failed and successful, to assassinate key Palestinians.  They admitted to key failures, including the deaths of innocents and even admitted to killing possible innocents intentionally as the only way to get at certain targets.  In one of the most griping scenes, Director Avraham Shalom (ironic name) admits to and then calmly justifies a calculated and shockingly callous decision.  It’s like a car wreck that you are appalled by but cannot look away from.  I should add that there are also photos of literal car wrecks in the form of bombed buses that are quite graphic.  The film does not shy away from showing us the effect of violence from both sides.  Another stunning moment came when one of the directors made reference to an American screw up (truly horrific in it’s outcome) that I had never heard of; it is hard to image anyone in the U.S. ever being as honest as these men were, though I am sure we have been every bit as guilty as Israel in our covert ops.  No small amount of time is spent with each of the men philosophizing about the morality of their behavior and how it has affected them.  The conclusions they reached in the final section of the film were almost universally identical and incredibly powerful.  Now, if only anyone would listen.


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  1. Reblogged this on Ramy Abdeljabbar's Palestine and World News.

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