The Gatekeepers is a decidedly open and honest account from those at the forefront of the Israeli interior security apparatus, and the ambivalence they feel towards their protracted role in helping secure their state while combating acts of terror.It is truly amazing how the film explores and breaks-down each event. Meticulous in its recollections and re-told through archival footage, bizarre first-person animation and through the talking heads of the Shin Bet men themselves. Jason elaborates on them.
The film is unflinching at looking at some of the more egregious incidents attributed to the organization, from the failure to prevent the assassination of the Prime Minister at the hands of a radical Israeli Jew, to the incidents regarding captured hijackers who were then murdered once put into custody.
It would be easy for those predisposed to find fault in this "occupier" regime to draw some of the more startling quotes, such as when Avraham Shalom actual equates the behaviour of the IDF to the actions of Nazi Germany. Out of context this is a shocking statement, fuel for an anti-Israeli crowd, and immediately putting on the defensive any that are staunchly pro-Israel, no matter what occurs politically in the country. As the quote plays out, you see the subtle point that Shalom and others are making, the real costs of living with neighbours that are participating in existential conflict with, the role of the religious right in Israel versus those on the Palestinian side who wish to crush what they see as non-endemic enemy state.
There's a tremendous amount to unpack in the film, and it would do the work injustice to approach it in a superficial manner. It's easy to see how a few quotes pulled from the main could lead one to draw very radical conclusions, but as a whole work Moreh and his collaborators have managed something quite remarkable indeed.