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The Gatekeepers (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary  |  14 March 2013 (Singapore)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,086 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 32 user | 103 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ami Ayalon ...
Himself
Avi Dichter ...
Himself
Yuval Diskin ...
Himself
Carmi Gillon ...
Himself
Yaakov Peri ...
Himself
Avraham Shalom ...
Himself
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Storyline

A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content including disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

14 March 2013 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Los guardianes  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$61,552 (USA) (1 February 2013)

Gross:

$2,408,553 (USA) (14 June 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Yuval Diskin: 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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Featured in Maltin on Movies: Warm Bodies (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sometimes surprising documentary
30 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Those with a deep and abiding interest in the problems of the Middle East will find much food for thought in "The Gatekeepers," an Oscar- nominated documentary about the Israeli intelligence agency known as Shin Bet. And those who are but casual observers of that part of the world may learn a thing or two as well.

The selling point of the movie is that for the first time ever it managed to get a number of the past leaders of Shin Bet to comment on their experiences with the organization. Directed by Dror Moreh, the movie begins with the Six Day War in 1967, goes through the various periods of turmoil and attempts at peacemaking that have gone on there through the decades since (including the assassination of Rabin), and ends in the present day when technological advancements have made surgical drone strikes the preferred weapon of choice in the seemingly never-ending battle against terror. As such, the movie provides a fascinating and surprisingly cohesive history of life in that geopolitical hotspot over the past half-century, all without any voice-over narration, using only the extemporaneous words and comments of the men who played such a major part in that history.

In moments of intense self-reflection, the men offer surprisingly candid comments regarding what they've had to do in their role as protectors of the nation. They re not afraid to delve into the grayer areas of the issues, for instance expressing regret over the "collateral damage" of innocents often caught in the crossfire of war, admitting to the mistreatment of prisoners, and agonizing over the dehumanization that results from sectarian prejudice and fighting. A number of them ponder the distinct differences in motive and approach between the politicians setting the policies and the people assigned to carry them out. Above all, to a one, the men reserve their harshest criticism for themselves, Shin Bet and their own country, often expressing sympathy for the Palestinians for what they've had to endure under Israeli occupation and questioning much of what Shin Bet and they themselves have done over the years, the mistakes they've made. Most agree that the most important thing Israel can do is to keep talking to its enemies. As such, I can't imagine this film went over too well with the hardliners in that country. As one of the men says, the farther one gets from one's time as leader of Shin Bet, the more "leftist" one becomes.

I don't know if that's true, but it makes for a fascinating theory. And there are many more unexpectedly eye-opening and paradigm-shifting moments to be found in "The Gatekeepers."


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