Matthew Lickona noon, April 29
The Gatekeepers (Shomerei Ha'saf)
In an unprecedented move, documentarian Dror Moreh assembled the six former heads of Shin Bet, Israel's secret service, to speak publicly of their work for the first time. It’s surprising to find out just how critical they all are of the Israeli government. Equally astonishing is the lackluster treatment Moreh affords this landmark gathering and the subsequent Oscar nomination it earned. What should have been a compelling piece of propaganda is systematically undone to the base degree. Most of our time is spent either staring at the chests of the six former heads — that’s where the subtitles invariably land — or 4x3 archival footage blown up to 16x9 proportions. The director’s idea of "opening up" the action is insulting video game recreations. Other than that, there is much to be learned about the morality of terror in this cinematic feast for the ears. 2013.