The Gatekeepers: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: The Gatekeepers

New York Film Festival 2012: The Gatekeepers


In protecting the homeland, Israel’s ultrasecret Shin Bet has performed interrogations and assassinations with fearsome reach. Dror Moreh’s incendiary doc sits down with six former intelligence chiefs, who candidly attest to a sense of guilt. (“We’ve become cruel,” one of them offers, a devastating admission.) There’s plenty of red meat here for viewers skeptical of covert affairs, yet more provocatively, an undeniable sense of competence—even exhilaration—emerges, too, their deadly operations re-created with spooky precision in b&w sequences worthy of a Bourne movie. The film has no easy answers to ethical questions of secrecy and preemptive defense; that’s what makes it essential. Pray that the postscreening Q&As are as thoughtful as these warriors are.—Joshua Rothkopf

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