F.I.L.M. of the Week (July 18, 2014)

18 07 2014

GatekeepersWith flaring tensions between Israel and Palestine back on the front page, perhaps there is no better time to Dror Moreh’s Oscar-nominated documentary “The Gatekeepers.”  This selection for the “F.I.L.M. of the Week” is a rather unique look at the conflict from 1967 onwards, told through the eyes of six former heads of the Israeli internal security agency Shin Bet.

“The Gatekeepers” marks the first time that these important geopolitical figures have ever told their stories publicly, and their honest accounts show some of the reason why.  This account of history doesn’t hold back, showing fault and folly from all perspectives.  His subjects critique the effectiveness of their own actions as well as offering commentary on the successes and drawbacks of various leaders who ran the state.

While this is undeniably a film about Israel, the lessons learned from “The Gatekeepers” ought to hit home for American audiences as well.  We find ourselves in a position not unlike Israel’s as we strap in for the long haul in our war against terrorism.  They’re fighting what increasingly resembles a war of attrition, not a war to bring about peace – a situation which feels awfully familiar to us.

The frank discussions of these Shin Bet leaders about taking out their targets, even if it means collateral damage of innocent lives, are certainly not specific to their nation alone.  And as Moreh takes us through their tales, he makes us question how effective fire really is at fighting fire.  “The Gatekeepers” is remarkable in the way it takes one specific clash and makes us think about the nature of conflict in general.  Such deliberation and careful thought is perhaps now more important than ever.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: