We often hear tales about the Mossad, Israel’s version of the CIA (and the subject of Steven Spielberg’s Munich). Serving alongside the Mossad is the lower-profile Shin Bet, which deals primarily with internal security and anti-terrorism in Israel. That story is told through gripping reminisces in The Gatekeepers, a Best Documentary nominee at the Academy Awards that begins its chronological tour with 1967’s Six-Day War. What we see is not just window dressing; director Dror Moreh constantly jabs his subjects—six former heads of Shin Bet—on the agency’s critical missteps, some of them quite shameful and harmful to the cause. But what emerges when all the pieces are laid on the table is just how complex and thankless all of this work is, and the lingering question of how worse off the country and the Middle East might be without it.