Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Dror Moreh's The Gatekeepers (2012) weaves together interviews with a hard-boiled set of secret service professionals in a gripping and well-paced film. The men offer the audience their stark realism and perhaps even a leftward inclination while airing their reflections on Israel's approach to using violence as a means to security. Avraham Shalom, Yaacov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, and Yuval Diskin (above) were respectively in charge of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, from the years 1980 to 2011. They discuss the limits of surveillance, interrogation, recruitment of double agents, and violent retaliation in the name of counter-terrorism in the West Bank and Gaza. Their assessment of the history of the occupation since 1967 also includes Shin Bet's dealings with Israeli right-wing extremists. Moreh allows the personalities of his interviewees to emerge, with touches of humor and hopefulness accompanying their cloak-and-dagger pragmatism.