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‘Gatekeepers’ Director Seeks Understanding Over Laurels

21 May, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Like many documentary filmmakers, Israeli director Dror Moreh seems less concerned about awards, and more concerned that his story is heard.

“I’m overwhelmed by the reaction to my work,” Moreh said about his Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers. “These topics are relevant to anyone [interested in the] Arab-Israeli conflict.”

The Gatekeepers — which lost out on the Best Documentary Feature award to Searching for Sugar Man — sits down six former heads of the Shin Bet (the internal arm of Israel secret service) for an unprecedented account of their actions and decisions during the long-running Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment streets The Gatekeepers July 9 on disc.

Moreh said he was surprised at how forthcoming the Shin Bet leaders were. Individual life stories were one thing, but gaining unprecedented insight to Israel’s decision-making process covering nearly 50 years was another. From the Six-Day War in 1967 to today, “no one understands the conflict better [than these six men],” Moreh said. The decisions these men made was always executed with Israel in mind, The Gatekeepers relays … but those decisions didn’t come without some regret.

And prevalent among all six men is the hope that a peaceful solution isn’t out of reach.

“There was a lot of stuff that was very, very surprising, a lot that showed how many missed opportunities [there were] to bring real solutions to this, by both sides,” Moreh said. “Since 1967 it’s been a tragic story.”

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is unique, Moreh admits, but The Gatekeepers is a worthwhile view for every American as well, he said, because “almost all the topics are relevant to the American public.”

“The ‘war on terror’ isn’t going to fade, and this movie and so many others speak to that issue,” he said.

Special features include a commentary and a Q&A with Moreh.

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