The Gatekeepers (2012) Review | Jamie Daily

The Gatekeepers (2012)
85th Academy Awards 2013
2/5 Stars
Nominated for 1 award.
Nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film (Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky, Estelle Fialon).
Watched February 1, 2014.


It is hard for me to describe The Gatekeepers to you because it is a very straightforward documentary.  It is an interview driven narrative that features all of the surviving heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency.  The men mostly discuss the events that occurred while they were involved, either on the ground or in leadership, and the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians.


There are certain aspects of the film that are extremely creative.  They used 3D effects on images taken at events (specifically when some terrorists were gunned down on a bus) and make them appear almost life-like.


The interviewees are honest and fairly transparent about their answers and what they believed at the time.  They knew that what they were doing was almost without morals but at the time they knew no other way to protect lives.  By the end and in their current lives they might have different opinions, but it is all in retrospect.  They understand that they are treating symptoms and not the problem.


This year of Oscars has focused a lot on Palestine and Israel.  It is interesting to see all of the different angels throughout the documentaries and dramas.  Unfortunately, The Gatekeepers was not my favorite.  It was certainly no nail-biter, although enlightening and informative.  As I mentioned above, there is little content aside from interview footage, although the B-roll that is used I quite enjoyed.


If what I have describes sounds like it might be up your alley, I would encourage you to see the film.  However, it is very slow and dry, so if you want something you would not likely see in a classroom, you might want to stay away from this one.

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