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John Carlos Frey
John Carlos Frey,
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The Marines of Echo Company
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Based on an interview of the director in one of the film festival showing that is is supposed to be a 5-part TV series intended to utilize the rest of the interview material. See more »
In the opening scene, the coordinates on satellite or UAV video feed are either in the East Pacific or the West Pacific depending on whether one takes the longitude to be East or West respectively. See more »
As Head of the Shin Bet, you learn that politicians prefer binary options. They don't like having three or four options. They want you to tell them "Zero or one. Do it. Don't do it." As a commander, I find myself in situations that are different shades of gray.
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In this documentary the film maker interviews six former heads of the Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service. The interviews paint a picture of the security situation Israel is facing and the decisions it has made in its conflict with the Palestinians.
I was surprised to see that these former Shin Bet heads had a much more nuanced view of the conflict than I expected. Of course, they have been defending Israel and they are still Israeli citizens and they still stand behind decisions that they have made and that have cost Palestinian lives. In that sense they are "pro-Israel". On the other hand some of them openly discussed the possibility of a Palestinian state, they spoke of Palestinians in a much more humane way than many Israeli's do and they were openly critical of Israel's security policy in the past decades, both from a human and from a professional, security perspective.
One of the interviewees for example said that one people's terrorist is the other people's freedom fighter, which is not only very true, but it also shows that these people, through their history in Shin Bet have attained a different way of looking at the conflict. I found that a very surprising and interesting aspect of the movie.
I saw the film at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA). The maker of the movie was present at the screening and he took questions from the audience after the screening. There was one Israeli woman in the audience that condemned the maker of being anti-Israeli and painting a too positive picture of the Palestinians and right after that there was a Dutch man in the audience accusing the maker of painting a too pro-Israeli picture. It just shows the incredible sensitivity around the subject. I myself was wondering "which side is he on" when the movie started. The movie however doesn't really show the views of the film maker, but the views of the former heads of Shin Bet, which is an entirely new perspective, because most movies about this conflict are created from a certain political standpoint.
I think the maker has done a very good job at getting these six important people to participate in his documentary, because the views of these people are important and hard to ignore. It is not a movie that was inspired by right-wing or left-wing sentiments, it was an unbiased movie that shows the views of the six people that were on the forefront of this war for many years. I am very surprised to see what the reactions to this movie will be in Israel. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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