Outside the realm of extremists, of which there is no shortage in the bloody Israeli/Palestinian morass, few would suggest an easy solution to anything in the
This may not be the movie
Both those titles apply to Moreh's film, which ends with the oldest living ex-Shin Bet leader,
At the beginning of "The Gatekeepers," Moreh confronts us with a deceptive do-or-die scenario. Imagine you run the country's secret service. You receive intel, backed up but not firmly verified by surveillance footage, that terrorists are driving a truck through a heavily populated area. Each second brings you closer to a decision -- to strike or not to strike -- that will affect the next chapter of history. What's the likelihood of these really being terrorists, ready to launch a deadly assault? If civilians are killed in a pre-emptive strike, will it have been worth it?
With that sobering overture, "The Gatekeepers" has you in its grip.
Each decision, each assassination, each reprisal weighs heavily on the camera subjects and, as a result, on the audience. Beginning with the Six-Day War in 1967, director Moreh charts, quickly, the Israeli occupation of the
The intelligence work is stunning, at its best, but the results to date fall so short of meaningful political progress, it's enough to make these men rip open their souls (some more willingly than others) and unburden themselves. This is not a documentary wherein outside experts or war correspondents or "the other side" is consulted. A lesser filmmaker might've been tripped up by such a narrow focus. A lesser filmmaker might've misjudged the melange of archival footage, fabricated surveillance footage and talking heads, which Moreh handles with a blend of cinematic flash and tact.
I left his film shaken, yet inspired by the honesty of these six men. In addition to Shalom (who ran Shin Bet from 1980-'86), the voices and faces belong to
<< RETURN TO MOVIE REVIEWS ...
"The Gatekeepers" Movie Trailer
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for violent content including disturbing images).
Running time: 1:37.
Credits: Directed by
Recent Movie Reviews - Films in Theaters
- 'The Company You Keep'
- 'The Place Beyond the Pines'
- 'Evil Dead'
- 'Jurassic Park 3-D'
- 'The Host'
- 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'
- 'Gimme the Loot'
- 'The Croods'
- 'Olympus Has Fallen'
- 'Spring Breakers'
- 'On the Road'
- 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'
- 'The Call'
- 'Beyond the Hills'
- 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'
- '21 and Over'
- 'Like Someone in Love'
- Argo Wins Top Oscar Prize
- Daniel Day-Lewis Wins 3rd Oscar for 'Lincoln'
- Jennifer Lawrence Makes Up for Forgotten Thank You's during Oscars
- Oscars 2013: Stars Shine at 85th Academy Awards
- 2013 Oscars Winners List
- Anne Hathaway Apologizes for Last-Minute Dress Switch at Oscars
- 'The Gatekeepers'
- Hollywood Prepares for Oscars Night
- 'Amour' Favorite for Best Foreign Film Oscar
- The 2013 Academy Awards by the Numbers
- With Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis Ponders 3rd Oscar
- Nominated Movie Scores Feature Sophistication, Cultural Diversity
- Afghan Coming-of-Age Film is Oscar Contender
- 'Life of Pi's Ang Lee Conquers Anti-Asian Bias
- Most Entertaining Documentary May Win The Oscar
- Oscar-Nominated Film Traces Journey of Ailing African Youngsters
- Sci-Tech Oscars Honor Science of Movie-Making
- Palestinians Hope to Tell Their Story Through the Oscars
- History of the Academy Awards and Oscars
- Host Your Own Oscars Party
- Oscars Party Recipes
- Our Favorite Food Movies
- 'Beautiful Creatures'
- 'A Good Day to Die Hard'
- 'Safe Haven'
- 'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III'
- 'Side Effects'
- 'Identity Thief'
- 'John Dies at the End'
- Nominees and Movie Fans Get Ready for Oscars
- Two Films, Directors Are Top Oscar Contenders
- 'Warm Bodies'
- 'Bullet to the Head'
- 'Stand Up Guys'
- '56 Up'
- 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters'
- Broken City
- The Last Stand
- Argo Wins Top Prize at Golden Globe Awards
- 'Lincoln' Leads Oscar Nominations
- Gangster Squad
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Price Check
Copyright © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.