I’m despondent that I missed the screening of “The Gatekeepers” at the New York Film Festival last week. Critics have praised the film, which is based on a series of interviews that director Dror Moreh conducted with six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service. The film combines these interviews with stock footage of Israeli security operations in the West Bank, including some video footage of a lethal drone strike that is supposedly breathtaking.
I was a bit surprised that the film wasn’t review in the New York papers. It’s an important subject, and the film was singled out as the highlight of the two prestigious festivals.
This recent glorious run for “Gatekeepers” makes me wonder about what’s going on with another new important new docu, “The Law in These Parts.” “Law” won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance this year, but as far as I know, hasn’t been screened in New York. The film tells the story of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank through interviews with Israeli judges who set up and ran Israel;s administrative law courts in the West Bank, the mechanism by which Israel has provided some semblance of legality to the way in which it prosecutes Palestinian terrorists and protesters. The interviews are mixed in with archival footage, according to reviews, to powerful effect (see the trailer
here.) The film received wonderful reviews. I’m wondering what fate awaits “Law” now
that “Gatekeepers” has made a big splash in New York and has landed a distribution deal with a major company. It would be a shame if “Law” were to fall victim to the notion that
there’s not enough room in the world for two powerful (and somewhat similar) films about
the occupation, told from the perspective of the Israeli power structure.
A trailer for “Gatekeepers” hasn’t been posted, but here’s an interesting video excerpt: