The Gatekeepers is not a film which holds the hand of the viewers, assuming them ignorant of basic events and historical significance. Many documentaries these days merely dumb down information and present it in an entertaining and agenda-based manner. The Gatekeepers doesn’t provide a solid agenda or message, but instead provides insight by humanizing the men at the top forced to deal with the conflict in the most direct manner.
The Shin Bet is Israel’s Secret Service, and the head of the Shin Bet is key to every decision made in the war against terror, both Palestinian and Jewish. Six former heads of this highly secretive agency agreed to be interviewed for this film, for the first time reflecting publicly on decisions made, often controversially so. The Gatekeepers stands above most documentaries with the exclusivity of the interviews, and it is the humanizing element of talking with individuals that allows us to see the conflict from a new perspective.
The six former heads of Shin Bet have to answer for their actions, but they all seem prepared for this. There are certain issues they have regrets about, while they stay rigid on other decisions. Regardless, each answer humanizes them in a way which was impossible before, allowing us to understand why decisions were made. The Blu-ray includes a commentary and Q&A with director Dror Moreh.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10
Historical Significance: 8/10
Disc Features: 6.5/10