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THE GATEKEEPERS

Director: DROR MOREH

96 minutes, Israel-France-Germany-Belgium, 2012, Subtitled, Colour, D-Cinema


The personnel of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, work in secrecy, with only the identity of the head of the organisation known to the public. In a striking coup, documentarist Dror Moreh here interviews no less than six former incumbents in the post – and it’s what they have to say which makes this a startling and provocative contribution to the Middle East debate. Contextualised by an astute use of news archive, these wily old warriors are firstly humanised by a recognition of the psychological and emotional toll of knowing you’ve killed innocent people along with terrorist targets.

However, while their loyalty to defending their homeland remains rock solid, what astonishes here is their anger at the lack of Israeli political leadership in finding an accommodation with the Palestinians – perhaps even despair at how modern Israel’s hawkish mindset has left the country morally compromised. A genuine eye-opener. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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