5 Broken Cameras

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An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements. Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later turned into a galvanizing cinematic experience by co-directors Guy Davidi and Burnat.
Structured around the violent destruction of a succession of Burnat’s video cameras, the filmmakers’ collaboration follows one family’s evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify, and lives are lost. “I feel like the camera protects me,” he says, “but it’s an illusion.” A prize-winning film at the Sundance Film Festival and a nominee for the 2013 Best Documentary Academy Award, 5 Broken Cameras takes an international tragedy and reframes it in light of its impact on one family‚Äôs life. (Dir. by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi, 2012, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel, France & the Netherlands, in Hebrew & Arabic with subtitles, 94 mins., Not Rated, Kino Lorber) Digital