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Film Description

Film Description


The Gatekeepers

"In the war against terror," begins one-time Israeli Security Agency (a.k.a. the Shin Bet) head Avraham Shalom, "there is no morality." Dror Moreh’s The Gatekeepers is a rare glimpse into the untold history of the Palestine-Israeli conflict from the point of view of the Shin Bet, Israel’s primary intelligence and counterterrorism agency. In a series of unprecedented one-on-one interviews, combined with never-before-seen archival footage, Moreh gives us unfettered access to the decisions, rationalizations and regrets of Israel’s most powerful homeland security officials.

The legendary Shalom — who headed the operation to kidnap Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann from Buenos Aires in 1960 — is one of six former Shin Bet leaders who agree to speak publicly and candidly to Moreh about their time in the agency. Alongside Shalom are Yaakov Peri, under whose watch two Palestinian detainees died during interrogation, causing a firestorm of controversy; Carmi Gillon, who bore the brunt of responsibility for the failure to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; Ami Ayalon, a staunch critic of the botched Camp David negotiations between Israel’s Ehud Barak and Palestine’s Yasser Arafat; Avi Dichter, a proponent of a controversial practice known as "targeted assassinations"; and Yuval Diskin, the immediate predecessor to Shin Bet’s current director, known for his ruthlessness in combating terror but also a strong advocate for a two-state solution. As these veteran intelligence chiefs speak with detachment about their participation in some of Israel’s most controversial counterterrorist initiatives both foreign and domestic, their steely singularity of purpose — maintain the state’s security — remains constant.

As these men reflect on troubled careers constantly beset by life-or-death decisions, hard questions keep coming to fore. What constitutes acceptable "collateral damage"? What is the virtue of a "proportional" response? Under what conditions does somebody have the authority to order another person’s death? The Gatekeepers offers a myriad of explanations, but no apologies.


"It offers startlingly honest insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from some of those who called the shots." — Claudia Puig, USA Today

Director: Dror Moreh
With: Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diski, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri, Avraham Shalom
Year: 2012
Runtime: 101 minutes
Country: Israel, France, Germany, Belgium
Language: Hebrew (English subtitles)
Distributor: Mongrel Media

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


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