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The Gatekeepers [Blu-ray] (2013)

Ami Ayalon , Avraham Shalom , Dror Moreh  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom, Avi Dichter, Yaakov Peri, Yuval Diskin
  • Directors: Dror Moreh
  • Producers: Dror Moreh, Anna van der Wee, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Hebrew
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2013
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,231 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Gatekeepers [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Charged with overseeing Israel's war on terror-both Palestinian and Jewish- the head of the Shin Bet, Israel's Secret Service is present at the crossroads of every decision made. For the first time ever six former heads of the agency agreed to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers offers an exclusive account of the sum of their successes and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every American Should See This Now February 24, 2013
Insights from six former heads of Shin Bet, supplemented with rare footage of targeted assassinations and disturbing historical events. Encourages reasoned analysis of the effect and morality of the use of violence for security purposes. Highly relevant to citizens of any country grappling with the use of drones, targeted assassination, occupation, or torture. Don't be turned off by fact that it is a documentary--movie is riveting.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoping Peace... February 28, 2013
I am neither a Jew nor a Muslim and to me it seems so hard if these people will ever achieve peace since when it comes to politics, geographically they certainly are not in a peaceful zone. As an outsider, I appreciate a sincere and well presented documentary which allows me to educate myself and this director has surly done his work by presenting facts and interviewing few people who have been in charge of defending Israel... but what is important, are those legislators who unfortunately have a mind of their own but controlled by few... Bravo.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The film offers interviews with the last six heads of Shin Bet, Israel's secretive state security service. Despite being largely sympathetic to the men, their interviews were laced together very well to show inconsistencies in their responses. As is common in interviews with governmental officials, politicians are not shown in a very favorable light. However, the film makes it clear that Shin Bet was not blameless in the things that happened.

I think this is a documentary that would benefit many Americans, if not others, as it gives a very different perspective on Israel's history than can be found anywhere else. As an American who is very interested in understanding the state of affairs in the Middle East, and who is just starting to see the "darker side" of Israel, I found this documentary very useful and interesting.

The biggest reason this is not rated five stars is that it was hard to remember which of the men corresponded with which years as directors of the Shin Bet.

Note: for those interested in similar films, Waltz With Bashir is another very good documentary that shows a perspective not often seen in the American media.
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35 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By D. Kriz
A thoughtful documentary featuring interviews of the last six heads of the Israel's, state security service, the Shin Bet. The six all patriots all presented themselves as professional/pragmatic of the mold of "Canaris" (the WW II era German Intelligence Chief) as opposed to ideologues like Reinhard Heydrich or Yuri Andropov. Okay, Israel's post-1967 occupation of the Palestinian Territories has proven to be a disaster for all, including Israel, what now? The six offer a few steps forward.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Made for an Israeli audience, and it shows... July 22, 2013
Its good to see this doco out on DVD, as it only received a limited release in the cinemas. I was finally able to rent it on DVD last night.

My impressions: firstly, anyone wanting either a pro- or anti-Palestinian/Israel diatribe should steer clear, as this film avoids the sort of grand narratives you see in the usual propaganda pieces on this topic. Instead the film consists of interviews with the heads of the Shin Bet interspersed with video footage of key incidents in Shin Bet history. Most of the responses given by the interviewees consist of short, pithy observations that leave a lot unsaid, and even though some of the Shin Bet men give better interviews than the others it is clear that all of them are still somewhat cagey about saying anything at all.

For example, the interviewer spends several minutes pressing one of the men on a particular incident where two Palestinian prisoners were killed - apparently murdered - after being captured by the Shin Bet. Quite dramatically, one of the interviewees tacitly admits that he is the man that gave the order for the Palestinian prisoners to be killed. However, it took some googling for me to work out what all of this was about - apparently it was something called the "Bus 300 affair" according to Wikipedia. Israelis would probably know all of this instinctively, American audiences not so much.

This film has taken quite a few cheap shots in the media - for instance, it is true that one of the Shin Bet heads compares modern Israel to 1940s Germany, but he quickly qualifies this response by saying that this comparison was not aimed at Germany's treatment of Jews but rather Germany's occupation of Belgium, France and Czechoslovakia.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"The Gatekeepers" (2012 release from ISrael; 95 min.) brings an unparalleled look into Israel's Shin Bet, the internal security agency tasked with protecting Israel from terrorists and other outside dangers. Incredibly, writer-director Dror Moreh was able not only to meet with and talk to 6 former heads of Shen Bet (covering 1980 to 2011, they are Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri, and Avraham Shalom), but Moreh then convinced them to talk on record, and on camera!

While the documentary does not strictly play pout chronologically, the early segments do focus more on the 'early' days following the Six Day War. Comments one of them: "we didn't get any direction from the politicians, we had to figure out for ourselves what to do". That gets solved when the era of terrorism becomes more pronounced. Shin Bet surveys, infiltrates and uses any means possible to get information on potential plots and strikes, and none of the former heads apoligizes for it ("there is no morakity when dealing with a terrorist", comments one). Shin Bet scores many victories yet suffers one of is lowest moments ever in 1995 with the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by someone whom Shin Bet never had even an inklin about. The most interesting, and likely controversial, part of the documentary focuses on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Despite the use of information-gathering methods that some might question, all six former heads make clear their disgust with the politicians on all sides, and they seem perplexed that there still is no resolution for this conflict. When asked if Israel should continue talks with all sides, including Hamas (a terrorist organization), they all are clear: YES!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Eye-opening
The interviews are in depth and reach into the deepest thoughts about their work that these 6 former directors of the Israeli Secret Service, how it was when they were in their... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Estrella Lasry
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare and Unique View of Israeli Shin Bet
I'd give it more of a 3.5 out of 5, but all in all I found the documentary to be very informative and interesting. The brutal honesty of the subjects is refreshing. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Patrick Joseph Brinzo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Very interesting and inspiring, I would recommend it to anyone, especially young Jewish teens and students, but really anyone will.
Published 12 days ago by amir orbach
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly done.
This is not good I was expecting something really good but it was not well made the story is badly written and the interviews were not good, I will say rent it but don't buy it.
Published 25 days ago by Lorely Th
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific movie that gives great insight into the Israel of today and...
One might expect a documentary movie based on interviews of six former heads of Israel's Shin Bet (their internal security intelligence force) to be a rah-rah cheering section for... Read more
Published 26 days ago by DarthRad
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful view to shin-bet
A view into Israel's counter terrorism forces. Some actual file footage of destruction that was ordered. A lot of philosophical views of six former heads of Shin-bet. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gerry C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very important film. Outstanding.
I is one of the most important films for the past 10 years. Anyone who is concerned about the Middle East must see it at least three times.
It is unbelievable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jack Hauck
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguingly Contradictory Interpretation of Contemporary Israeli...
This documentary consists of a series of interviews with former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli Secret Service. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Laurence Raw
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative
The Gatekeepers was a very interesting and informative documentary about Israel and the Palestinians. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rockstar
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard hitting, from the professionals
Excellent narrative with interviews interspersed with actual footage of events and assassinations. The conclusions of the spy masters is a wake up call for Israel.
Published 2 months ago by Varmint
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