12 February 2013

Will "The Gatekeeper" get an Oscar? Judith Butler thinks it should

Judith Miller, in The Tablet, has a fascinating article on two films up for Oscars: "Zero Dark Thirty" and "The Gatekeepers". She rather disses the first (and I never intended seeing it anyway), not least for its failure to face up to the moral issues involved, such as whether torture was used by the US, and, if used, is it effective? Frankly, I'm just pleased the s.o.b. is dead. However, the second film, the documentary on Shin Bet, she gives much more credence to, not least because of the candour of the 6 ex-Shin Bet heads interviewed. As she says, "The Gatekeepers tackles such issues head-on. It not only describes the tactics Israel has employed in its counter-terrorism efforts but also challenges their underlying strategy—or as director Dror Moreh claims, the absence of any coherent strategy behind the country’s anti-terror campaigns."

I mentioned torture in the first paragraph. Butler says that the Shin Bet chiefs either acknowledge that it was used, or fail to convincingly deny its use. What, she says, is most interesting is that these men argue for talking to their enemies, whoever they are. Possibly even more interesting is that she starts her article by noting that two films on terror on up for Oscars this year, but only one should win. Before reading the full article, do you think you can guess which one she thinks it should be?

Just as interesting is Butler's comment that both films could only be made in societies that allow open discussion of the most sensitive (security) issues.

Anyway, as I said to my wife, as we watched a trailer for "The Gatekeepers", if anyone expects me to apologise for Shin Bet's actions, forget it.

By: Brian Goldfarb       


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Torture has a very poor record for producing useful information as the tortured will simply lie to make it stop. Interrogation without torture takes longer, and requires planning and finesse, but it is much reliable.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

The author of the review is Judith Miller, not Judith Butler. Miller is the former New York Times reporter who passed along very bad information before the beginning of the Iraq War. She now seems to be the theater critic of Tablet!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Whoa, lyin' Judith Miller. Tablet isn't very picky, is it?