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The Gatekeepers 

An infuriating and important documentary

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Something to marvel at when watching the excellent documentary, The Gatekeepers, is how high-ranking intelligence agents can be so clueless about cause and effect. The audience benefits from hindsight, something the leaders of Israel's Shin Bet security service didn't have when dealing with Palestinian threats to their country. Director Dror Moreh is the first person to interview the former heads of that secret organization, taking a page from the excellent Errol Morris doc Fog of War to combine interviews with archival footage and CGI-reenactments. Moreh doesn't let his subjects off the hook, challenging them on their rationalizations for ratcheting up a conflict until a bloody war was being waged with initially peaceful neighbours. There's a madness to The Gatekeepers, as almost every former security chief surmises the conflict with Palestine could have already ended a hundred times over. That it hasn't, that the situation continues as a quagmire of impossible depths, is what makes the film so infuriating, and important.


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Vol 24, No 34
January 19, 2017

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