Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Short Cut Movie Review: The Gatekeepers

Short Cut Movie Review is normally less than 400 words, but in some cases may go slightly over. This is my attempt to keep writing about as many films as I see without getting bogged down with trying to find more to say. They are meant to be brief snapshots of my reaction to a movie without too much depth.

As not just a documentary filmmaker, but as a journalist, Dror Moreh pulled off a major coup in getting six former heads of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet to go on camera to talk about sensitive events in Israel’s history. Apparently Ami Ayalon was the first to agree to appear and he was instrumental in contacting the others and convincing them to participate. This is hardly surprising to learn considering his obvious objections to some of Israel’s policies regarding West Bank settlements and the morality of targeting terrorists for assassination.

The inspiration Moreh took from Errol Morris’s The Fog of War is evident in the manner of his interviews which are the result of probing questions, the carefully reflective and highly introspective answers given by his subjects, and the intercutting of news footage, photographs, and eerie aerial shots similar to those seen in spy movies where an agency is targeting a terrorist. His six interviewees are not exactly apologetic with respect to the orders gave and carried out, but they have clearly given their actions a lot of thought in the intervening years. Some are less apologetic than others, but all reveal the minds of philosophical men who see the need for greater understanding if peace is to be achieved.

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