Two out of Five ain’t Bad

Congratulations to the filmmakers of “The Gatekeepers” and “Five Broken Cameras” on their nominations for the best feature documentary Oscar.   They are two very different films in style and approach.   Both offer strong condemnations of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

“Five Broken Cameras” artfully cuts together the videos made by a non-professional Palestinian video shooter in Bil’in.  It’s honest, direct, deeply moving.  It contains harrowing, detailed footage of Israeli raids on the village. “The Gatekeepers” operates at a higher level of sophistication.  It manages to remain cinematic, even though most of the film consists of talking head interviews with six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israeli’s internal security agency.   One of them, a compelling chubby old man in suspenders, compares the occupation to Germany’s occupation of Europe during World War II.   It’s a shocking moment.