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The Gatekeepers (2012) — IsraelThe Gatekeepers (2012) — Israel

           This documentary film interviews all six living former heads of Shin Bet, Israel's secretive security agency that's the rough equivalent of the CIA. These are chastened men who look back over fifty years of the Palestinian conflict and conclude, to a person, that peace through violence will never happen. You can win all the battles with overwhelming force, and very much lose the war. As one of them said, when you retire and think about these things, it makes you a "leftist." "We've become a cruel people," said another. One of the most interesting parts was the extensive treatment of Israel's religious right extremists, the settlements, and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a Zionist "punk with a rifle" who wasn't even on any of their watch lists. The film intersperses graphic archival footage with the sober interviews, which range across a broad array of military, political, and moral issues — the humanity of your enemy, the folly of war, murky intelligence that doesn't reduce to binary options, collateral damage, and what might define "victory" for everyone concerned. In Hebrew with English sub-titles.

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