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The Gatekeepers
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The Gatekeepers -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   3,476 votes »
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Release Date:
14 March 2013 (Singapore) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Remarkable See more (31 total) »

Cast

 
Ami Ayalon ... Himself
Avi Dichter ... Himself
Yuval Diskin ... Himself
Carmi Gillon ... Himself
Yaakov Peri ... Himself
Avraham Shalom ... Himself

Directed by
Dror Moreh 
 
Produced by
Estelle Fialon .... producer
Philippa Kowarsky .... producer
Dror Moreh .... producer
Anna van der Wee .... co-producer
 
Cinematography by
Avner Shahaf 
 
Film Editing by
Oron Adar 
 
Production Design by
Doron Koren 
 
Art Direction by
Doron Koren 
 
Production Management
Stéphanie Andriot .... post-production supervisor
Claire Babany .... assistant production manager
Ori Bader .... production manager
Johan Broutin .... production manager
Eric Duriez .... post-production manager
 
Sound Department
Alex Claude .... sound designer
David Gillain .... sound re-recording mixer
Daniel Meir .... sound editor
Wilmont Schulze .... foley artist
Sebastian Stroux .... foley recordist
Amos Zipori .... sound mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Hatem Benabdallah .... artistic director
Jean-Jacques Benhamou .... visual effects executive producer
Carine Gillet .... artistic director
Virginie Giroux .... digital compositor
Philippe Sonrier .... visual effects director
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lee Klein .... gaffer
 
Editorial Department
Julien Champroux .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Regis Baillet .... composer: original score (as Ab Ovo)
Jerome Chassagnard .... composer: original score (as Ab Ovo)
Alex Claude .... musical director
Daniel Meir .... composer: additional music
 
Other crew
Inès Daïen Dasi .... production staff
 
Thanks
Christian Rajaud .... the producers wish to thank
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for violent content including disturbing images
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Canada:PG (British Columbia) | Finland:K-16 (TV rating) | Netherlands:12 | Singapore:NC-16 | UK:15 | USA:PG-13

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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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34 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
Remarkable, 11 March 2013
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

You would normally bet that the chances of six former directors of the Israel Internal Security Service known as Shabak or, in English, Shin Bet becoming left-leaning proponents of a peaceful solution with the Palestinians would be about as likely as Dick Cheney becoming a political consultant for MSNBC. Yet, as depicted in Dror Moreh's powerful and disturbing documentary The Gatekeepers, this is exactly what happened. The film, one of five Oscar-nominated films for Best Documentary, consists of interviews by the director with Shin Bet spokesmen: Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, and Yuval Diskin, interspersed with newsreel footage and CGI graphical recreation of the seemingly endless conflict since 1967.

Moreh asks tough questions and does not let his subjects off the hook, but there is no need to. The men are forthcoming in their candid assessment of the role they played in the Shin Bet operations which included the recruitment and use of informers, the targeting and drone attacks on suspected terrorists (sound familiar?), use of brutal torture techniques, and controlling the threat of Jewish extremists, a threat that became reality when a right-wing opponent of the Oslo peace agreements shot and killed the architect of those agreements, Nobel Peace prize winner Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin.

Two horrific events are dramatized: the assassination of Palestinian terrorist Yahya Ayyash by planting an explosive device in his cell phone, and the skull bashing of two Palestinian terrorists involved in a bus hijacking after they had been subdued and captured, an action that led to the resignations by the Prime Minister and the then head of the Shin Bet. To their credit, however, the security agency called off dropping a bomb on a house filled with Hamas leaders because of the possibility of widespread collateral damage. The men were hardliners to begin with, but each, who has had to deal with the problem first-hand, has come to see the futility of an occupation that seems to lead only to an endless cycle of brutality on both sides.

They insist that continuing to talk with the Palestinians is the only option left and that anything else is a dead end street. Though they favor a two-state solution, they recognize that the opposition to dismantling the settlements might cause a civil war. If you are wondering how the six could have reached the same conclusions, Ami Ayalon tells us that "The six of us reached our opinions from different personal backgrounds and different political outlooks, but we've all reached the same conclusion. Many Israelis and American Jews want to deny it, but this is our professional opinion. We're at the edge of an abyss, and if Israeli-Palestinian peace doesn't progress, it's the end of Zionism." Though these men are patriots who believed they were doing the right thing for their country and still believe that a great number of Jewish lives were saved by their actions, they also acknowledge their struggle with the moral dimensions of the job, the thin line between taking a life and saving a life. Shalom's comments are telling, "We have become cruel to ourselves but mainly to the occupation," he says. "We paid a horrible price for our military successes. We are isolated completely from our neighbors, we cannot go anywhere. We are a thorn in the side of the region." According to Ayalon, "The tragedy of Israel's public security debate is that we don't realize that we face a frustrating situation, in which "we win every battle, but we lose the war." The Gatekeepers shows a side of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that we have not seen before and, considering the ultra-secret nature of the counter-terrorist organization, it is remarkable that Moreh was even able to conduct the interviews. Yet the impact of the film has yet to make much of a difference. In his speech prepared for delivery at the Oscars in event the film won the award for Best Documentary, Moreh said, "We pray that it (the film) will echo in the corridors of power in Washington, Berlin, Paris, London, and especially in Jerusalem and Ramallah." To this date, the only echo heard is the sound of doors being closed.

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