THE GATEKEEPERS Add To My Top 10

Perpetual War

Content -1
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: February 01, 2013

Starring: N/A

Genre: Documentary

Audience: Older children to adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 101 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Director: Dror Moreh

Executive Producer: None

Producer: Dror Moreh, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky

Writer: N/A

Address Comments To:

Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Co-Presidents, Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com; Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com

Content:

(BB, VV, N, D, M) Strong moral worldview looking at the years of the highest intelligence agency on Israel and how far they should go in fighting terrorism, some mention of Muslims, but not positively, overlooking, as usual, the Palestinian Christians, which are a significant portion of the population; no discernible foul language; lots of documentary footage of violence and discussions of violence, with some bloody images, including the Six Day War in 1967, strategic assassinations, the Lebanese war, bus bombings, and many acts of terrorism as well as torture; no sex; some upper male nudity; no alcohol use; some smoking; and, some anti-conservative Jewish views expressed and some liberal views.


Summary:

THE GATEKEEPERS is an Israeli documentary that examines the moral issues behind Israel’s fight against terrorism, by interviewing eight former leaders of its primary intelligence agency, Shin Bet. THE GATEKEEPERS poses an interesting question, Can you be moral in the midst of a perpetual war, but it could have answered the question in 30 minutes as opposed to 100.


Review:

THE GATEKEEPERS is a documentary from Israel. It tells the story of the highest, fiercest Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet, which took over the top role from Mossad after the 1967 Six Day War.

The director interviews eight of the leaders of Shin Bet over the years. Some of it is absolutely fascinating, but much of it is very slow and repetitious. The interviewer, who’s off camera but can be heard, keeps asking moral questions, such as, “Was it moral to shake this guy’s head so that he died?” And, “Was it moral to drop a one-ton bomb on a house to kill a terrorist leader and cause collateral damages to women and children in the neighborhood?”

By the end of the movie, the picture emerges that the constant fear of terrorism and the displaced Palestinian population of more than one million people has caused Israel, especially the Israeli intelligence corps, to become cruel. Many of the former leaders say that, when they retire, they move to the left, because of the nightmarish memories of what they had to do to protect the state and the civilian population. On the positive side of the equation, however, they estimate that they stopped an incredible 90 percent of the terrorist attacks.

Interestingly, in the 1990s, radical conservative rabbis and other Jewish leaders started to plot their own acts of terrorism, including planting bombs on Palestinian buses and even destroying the Dome of the Rock to usher in the age of the Messiah. The leaders of Shin Bet are not in favor of the radical so-called “right wing” rabbis, though many Christian leaders, who lived through that period, believed that the conservative Jewish religious leaders were sometimes correct in their analysis.

At any rate, the point of the movie is that what Shin Bet was doing was all too often not moral. Can you be moral in the midst of a perpetual war? This is an interesting question, but THE GATEKEEPERS could have answered it in a half hour as opposed to nearly two hours.


In Brief:

THE GATEKEEPERS is a documentary from Israel. It tells the story of the highest, fiercest Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet. The director interviews eight Shin Bet leaders over the years. He keeps asking moral questions, such as, “Was it moral to shake this guy’s head so that he died?” By the end of the movie, the picture emerges that the constant fear of terrorism from more than one million displaced Arabs has caused Israel and the Israeli intelligence corps to become cruel. Many of the former leaders say that, when you retire, they move to the left, because of the nightmarish memories of what they had to do to protect the state and the civilian population. On the positive side of the equation, however, they estimate that they stopped 90 percent of the terrorist attacks.

The point of THE GATEKEEPERS is that what Shin Bet was doing was often not moral; while asking, Can you be moral in the midst of a perpetual war? This is an interesting question, but THE GATEKEEPERS could have answered it in 30 minutes as opposed to 100.