5 Broken Cameras


“Both an infuriating j’accuse and a remarkable demonstration of human solidarity.” — J. Hoberman, Artinfo

Year: 2011
Running time: 90 mins

Producers: Guy Davidi, Emad Burnat, Serge Gordey, Christine Camdessus
Photography: Emad Burnat
Editors: Véronique Lagoarde-Ségot, Guy Davidi
Music: Le Trio Joubran
In Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles
Colour and B&W

With: Emad Burnat, Soraya Burnat, Mohammed Burnat, Yasin Burnat, Taky-Adin Burnat, Gibreel Burnat, Muhammad Burnat, Bassem Abu-Rahma, Adeeb Abu-Rahma

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2011; Sundance, New Directors/New Films 2012

Directing Award (World Documentary), Sundance Film Festival 2012

The political is utterly personal in this account of five years in the life of Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, his wife, four small children and their friends and neighbours in the village of Bil’in in the central West Bank. Burnat was a typical camera-wielding dad recording family occasions, but when his son Gibreel was born on the same day that Israelis began ripping up olive trees near his home, Burnat filmed both events. Five cameras were shot or smashed in the years that followed as he filmed his family growing while Israeli incursions escalated and the army thundered down on demonstrations by unarmed villagers. Providing countervailing evidence of Israeli opposition to the settlements, Israeli filmmaker and editor Guy Davidi teamed up with Burnat to shape his recordings into this film. An all-too-familiar battleground is rendered clear and present, framed by a father’s struggle to retain hope for a better life for his children. More effective grassroots filmmaking is hard to imagine. This powerful documentary has won key prizes at Sundance and Amsterdam. — BG

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