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5 Broken Cameras
Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi • 2011 • Israel, Palestine
Starring Emad Burnat, Mohammed Burnat, Soraya Burnat
An extraordinary work of political activism through cinema, 5 BROKEN CAMERAS is a deeply personal, firsthand account of nonviolent 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 assembled into a galvanizing cinematic experience by Burnat and codirector Guy Davidi. Structured around the violent destruction of a succession of Burnat’s video cameras, the filmmakers’ collaboration follows one family 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.”