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Considered among the elite intelligence agencies in the world, the Mossad was created in 1949 as an insurance policy to defend the security of the fledgling state of Israel. Of necessity, Mossad agents have remained silent about their top secret operations. Although many were reluctant to discuss highly sensitive topics with the media, over time (with careful probing by perennial SFJFF filmmaker Duki Dror), some agreed to be filmed. As the stories gradually unfold, the cold calculations of their secret operations reveal their psychology and the moral dilemmas surrounding their actions. Among the most unexpected admissions was a policy of collaborating with Middle Eastern regimes based on shared mutual interests, embodying the adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Engaging Egyptian, Arab and German informants guaranteed preventive actions that would protect Israel.
The agents, most of who are now elderly, could pass for someone’s kindly grandfather. But in reality they clandestinely planned and executed notorious targeted assassinations that have affected historical events. Utilizing intimate interviews, first person accounts, startling archival photographs and news footage, the leading figures in Israel’s intelligence community reveal their successes, failures and near misses. To bring their secret past up to date, they also speak of their concerns about Israel’s future under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. –Janis Plotkin
Born in Tel Aviv and educated at UCLA and Columbia College in Chicago, Duki Dror has been directing award-winning documentaries since 1992. His first film "Sentenced to Learn," about "lifers" getting schooled in a Chicago penitentiary, was showcased in 1993 by Cinema Du Reel in a retrospective of American Documentary. After living in the US for 8 years, Dror returned to Israel to document Israel's cultural, social and political margins.