Director Dror Moreh Talks THE GATEKEEPERS, Shaping Thousands of Hours of Interview Footage, and the Best Documentary Oscar Nomination

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dror moreh gatekeepers

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 crossroad of every decision made.  For the first time ever, six former heads of the agency agree to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions.  The Gatekeepers, which was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, 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.

At the film’s recent press day, director Dror Moreh sat down with me to talk about what inspired him to make the film, how he was able to gain unprecedented access and convince the former heads of Shin Bet to talk candidly about their professional work and personal views, and how he shaped thousands of hours of filmed interviews, re-creations and archival footage into a 97-minute film.  He also discussed what he learned personally from making the film, the overwhelmingly positive reaction The Gatekeepers has received since it opened in Israel, the film’s Oscar nomination, and his upcoming dramatic project.  Hit the jump to read more:

Sundance 2013: THE GATEKEEPERS Review

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As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.”  Dror Moreh‘s documentary The Gatekeepers shows that it’s nothing more than a saying.  Knowledge is only power if you know how to use it, and if you’re allowed to use it properly.  Moreh goes inside Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, and by talking with its former directors, the documentary uncovers the futility of intelligence in the face of terrorism, politics, and human nature.  Moreh attempts to show how the agency has to keep shifting its identity and purpose but still manages to come up short when tasked with stopping the major attacks.  However, in exploring the past, The Gatekeepers ultimately reveals nothing new about the present.

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