Spring 2013 Documentary series
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 8:00pm
Directed by Dror Moreh
Starring Avi Dichter, Avraham Shalom, and Ami Ayalon
Rated NR ·
Belgium / Germany / France / Israel
Hebrew and English
Charged with overseeing Israel’s war on terror — both Palestinian and Jewish — the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service is present at the crossroad of every decision made. For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions.
Directed by Dror Moreh, The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.
“The idea to do this movie came to me while I was working on my previous film, Sharon. From my discussions with the prime minister’s innermost circle of advisors, I learned how the critique of some of these Gatekeepers influenced Sharon’s decision to disengage from Gaza.
I went to each of the Gatekeepers and asked them to tell me their life stories. I wanted them to share their unique perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict. I was startled, but also thrilled, when they agreed. This gave me an unprecedented, intimate opportunity to enter the inner sanctum of the people who have steered Israel’s decision-making process for almost half a century.
The Gatekeepers were generous with their time and information. Some were better storytellers than others, but they each had a story to tell in their own distinct voices. They were there at all the most important junctions in the history of the State of Israel since the Six Day War.” (Dror Moreh)
“This is one hot, provocative, revelatory and astonishing documentary, one sure to provoke enthralled interest and controversy wherever it is shown worldwide.” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)
“The six interviewees who narrate this movie stayed behind the scenes, providing their country with an unseen shield. Now, for the first time, they make themselves visible, speaking out with surprising frankness in the most dramatic political documentary in years. The Gatekeepers has a cold air to it: washed-out colors, tan ominous soundtrack, eerily floating satellite footage. The most chilling aspect, however, is the blunt commentary about the work itself … another strength is that it is self-critical. This film is not the usual chronicle of Israeli victimization at the hands of Palestinians savages. Rather, it explores what Israel can do, and needs to do, to achieve a lasting peace and stability. This film is the most pro-Israeli film I have seen, because it is the most practical. In recognizing Palestinian points of view (though without endorsing them), it sees Palestinian self-determination as synonymous with Israeli peace. Thus, this film is also, unexpectedly, the most hopeful film I have seen on the subject.” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)