5 Broken Cameras

Thursday 29 September 2016
Emad Burnat/Guy Davidi | Palestine/Israel/France, 2011 | 90 mins | NR 

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.”

5 Broken Cameras presents with overwhelming power a case of injustice on a massive scale, and gives us a direct experience of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of oppression and dispossession, administered by the unyielding, stony-faced representatives of those convinced of their own righteousness.

Plus short film: Gaza From Within: Return to Seifa Village
Flying Paper Productions | Palestine, 2014 | 10 mins

This short film profiles a distressing episode in the lives of Musa and Widad Al Ghoul, two young Palestinian siblings living with their extended family in the village of Seifa on the northern border area of Gaza, just weeks after Israeli artillery devastates their home during the war in the summer of 2014.

return to seifaIn the four years since participating in the breaking of the Guinness Record for the most kites ever flown (as showcased in the feature-length documentary film Flying Paper), Musa and Widad, now young adults, confront the aftermath of war along with their grandfather Abu Ziad.

The film captures a snapshot of young lives and families in turmoil, adapting to the harsh realities of yet another violent disruption to their hopes and aspirations in Gaza. It includes stunning images taken by award-winning photographer Anne Paq, working closely with young Gazan journalist Abeer Ahmed in the midst of the war.

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