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The Gatekeepers

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The Gatekeepers

Dror Moreh 2012

Charged with overseeing Israel’s war on terror-both Palestinian and Jewish- the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service is involved every decision made. For the first time six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their success and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.

Running Time: 95 min.
Subject(s): Conflicts, Current Affairs, History, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Law and Justice, Middle Eastern Studies, Military, Politics, Society
Language(s): Hebrew
Subtitles: English
Producer(s): Dror Moreh, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky
Cinematographer: Avner Shahaf
Editor(s): Oron Adar
Production Company: Dror Moreh Productions, Les Films du Poisson, Cinephil


  • Variety- Review, 2012
    The brutal recent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rivetingly recounted by some of its most prominent players in "The Gatekeepers." Granted an extraordinary level of access to six former heads of Israel's Shin Bet counterterrorism agency, first-time documaker Dror Moreh achieves a powerful and remarkably clear-eyed assessment of how state-sanctioned violence, whether pre-emptive or retaliatory, has exacted a crippling moral toll on the region and its pursuit of peace. Critical attention and high-profile festival berths should conspire to make the Sony Classics pickup a provocative must-see for the discerning and topically inclined.
  • The Hollywood Reporter: The Telluride Review, 2012
    Todd McCarthy
  • The New York Times -Review, 2012
    And the best documentary in Telluride this year is also the most bluntly honest. It is “The Gatekeepers,” which consists mostly of the director Dror Moreh’s interviews with six former heads of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service. These men matter-of-factly talk about their work over the past decades, work that encompasses torture, spying and assassination and that includes some devastating failures of intelligence. They also speak frankly about the strategic and political consequences of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in ways that are unlikely to please or reassure anyone with settled opinions about the Middle East. “The Gatekeepers” is a reminder that sometimes the truth hurts.
    A. O. SCOTT
  • The New York Times- Review, 2012
    Mesmerizingly cinematic and politically complex, this documentary jaw-dropper movie explores, with depth and nail-biting intensity, Israel’s history, present and future through the eyes of six former heads of the internal security agency Shin Bet. It’s an elegant weave of talking-head interviews and archival material, including shocking images from counterterrorism missions, but mostly it’s an argument for reform coming from six men whose love of their homeland is as naked as their loathing for its politicians.
  • Los Angeles Review, 2012
    Kenneth Turan
  • Video Librarian
    An Oscar nominee for Best Documentary, Dror Moreh’s astonishing behind-the-scenes look at Shin Bet—aka the Israel Security Agency—offers an illuminating insider’s view of the Arab-Israeli conflict… A powerful documentary about a longstanding, tragic situation, this is highly recommended. Editor’s Choice.

Festival Participation

  • Academy Awards - 2013
    Academy Award nominee Best Documentary Feature
  • Ophir Awards - 2012
    Winner Ophir Award for Best Israeli Documentary Feature Film
  • National Society of Film Critics - 2012
    Winner US National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Non-Fiction Film
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association - 2012
    Winner LA Film Critics Association Award for Best Documentary
  • Jerusalem Film Festival (World Premiere) - 2012
  • Toronto International Film Festival (International Premiere) - 2012
  • Telluride Film Festival - 2012
  • New York Film Festival - 2012
  • IDFA – Feature Length Competition - 2012
  • Sundance Film Festival - 2013
  • Tromso International Film Festival - 2013
  • Doc Point Helsinki - 2013
  • Luxemburg City Film Festival - 2013
  • Zagreb Dox - 2013
  • FIPA - 2013

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