More often than not, intelligence lives in the grey area. More often, it’s the boots on the ground. Social Sharing The Gatekeepers hits with the force of a bomb — and for once in the bloody and terrible history of its region, a smart bomb. And while you could call this, broadly, a "talking heads" documentary, the six heads in question — there are no other interview subjects — are amazingly vivid. Ad Choices. © 2020 Collider Cryptomedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The documentary The Gatekeepers examines Israeli security policy in interviews with six former heads of the secretive Shin Bet agency.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. The oldest is Avraham Shalom, scary even in his dotage. "Forget about morality" when you're dealing with terrorists, he says. They evince a withering contempt for the native extremists—Israel’s right-wing bomb-throwers—who wanted to blow up the Dome of the Rock, the holist of Islamic sites, in Jerusalem, an act that would have started a war conducted by all the world’s Muslims against Israel. It is, believe it or not, a critique. It couldn’t stop the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and the assassin wasn’t even on their radar despite having countless files and intel from numerous informants. They are masters of “tactics,” but they know that “strategy”—the point of all these brilliant counterterrorism operations—may have eluded them, and has certainly eluded Israel’s leaders. But those are the rare moments. And yet their lessons don’t cast a new light on the identity of Israel.
That's actually not true — some of them have. The enemy is always unclear, the battlefield is everywhere, and as one former Shin Bet head points out, they can only clamp down on attacks; the attacks can’t be stopped. Perhaps the most philosophical leader, Ami Ayalon, quotes Karl von Clausewitz: "Victory," he says, "is the creation of a better political reality.". It’s the night-vision raid and the confusion. The 9 Best New Movies on Amazon Prime Video in October 2020, ‘Borat 2’: Why That Surprise Cameo Is One of the Film’s Wildest Moments, ‘No Time to Die’: $600 Million Sale to Streaming Explored for Next 007 Movie, ‘The Haunting of …’: Haunted House Stories We Want Mike Flanagan to Tackle Next, David Fincher Confirms That ‘Mindhunter’ Is Probably Done. He was in charge in 1984, when a Palestinian hijacker taken off a bus was beaten to death by security forces. When I visited Israel a couple years ago, they took us to Masada, which is where they have the swearing-in ceremony of soldiers who have completed their IDF training. He would resign that same week when a punk named Yigal Amir killed Rabin and changed the course of history.
One Shin Bet head, Carmi Gillon, says he tried in vain to get Rabin to wear a bulletproof vest.
The overall mission is to protect the homeland, but there’s no clear way to do it. There’s an air of defeat in their voices. The film opens as Diskin tells us that politicians want to see situations in black-and-white, but those missions are rare. Israel’s identity is forged by its purpose, and if the purpose is always to defend the homeland, then the homeland is always at war. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers.
They believe in the tactics they devised. Dror Moreh Productions, Les Films du Poisson, Cinephil Mac Guff, Wild Heart Productions, Arte France, IBA, NDR, RTBF CNC, Media, Région Ile-de-France, Procirep, Angoa, The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts – Cinema Project They candidly discuss anti-terrorist operations (their main brief) and such methods as torture and targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders. Moreh goes inside Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, and by talking with its former directors, the documentary uncovers the futility of intelligence in the face of terrorism, politics, and human nature.
Moreh edits footage of riots and the intifada for shocking immediacy. An army can be reactive; an intelligence agency must be pro-active in trying to root out the next attack. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Sony Pictures Classics It's made with cunning, with suspense techniques not much different from Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Every chapter heading is a quote from one of the interview subject. Forced to fight in a seemingly endless war, is it any wonder the former Shin Bet heads seem so melancholy?
It's a film in which your jaw drops lower and lower as you realize that these spooks, these professional paranoiacs, sound like peaceniks compared with much of the right-wing government. "The Gatekeepers" is clearly inspired by Errol Morris's non-confrontational handling of Vietnam planner Robert McNamara in "The Fog of War" (and Moreh says as much in interviews). These were prominent Israelis, say the Shin Bet, caught attempting to incite a global war — and politicians intervened to get them quickly sprung from prison, to be greeted in their communities as heroes. Moreh includes such remarkable figures as the fierce and bullying Avraham Shalom, now elderly, with an old man’s acid clarity and humor, and Yuval Diskin, who was … Each ran Shin Bet at various points, and yet their stories are remarkably similar. © 2020 Condé Nast. However, in exploring the past, The Gatekeepers ultimately reveals nothing new about the present.
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We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020, Filmmaker Holds Up A Mirror In Interviews With Israel's 'Gatekeepers'. But it's certainly a momentous occasion when all six leaders of the agency since 1980 appear on-screen to narrate a sort of intelligence history of Israel and the occupied territories since 1967's Six-Day War. These insiders reported directly to the Prime Ministers they served. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. At Sundance 2013, Matt reviews Dror Moreh's documentary The Gatekeepers, which interviews former directors of Shin Bet. The Gatekeepers turns out to be not a defense of Israeli military policy.
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