5 BROKEN CAMERAS

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JANUARY 20, 2013

Any human being willing to put their life on the line to document certain political activities, whether knowledgeable (or not) of what that action might entail or lead to, is an important historical figure in my book. In the case of the documentary “5 Broken Cameras,” Emad Burnat is a Palestinian olive farmer. He spends his free time as an exhibitionist filmmaker, and whether he knows it or not, he puts his life on the line every time he steps into a non-violent protest group with Israeli troops shooting tear gas and live rounds at them. He is willing to go through the pain and hassle of buying a new camera every time one of his is shot, broken, or stolen. He also sees his friends killed, eventually getting severe injuries himself. His wife and kids end up in the path of danger as well. Emad is making history by documenting the wrongs done to the Palestinians of Bil’in, a peaceful village on the edge of a new concrete wall and residential building consuming their way of life.

First-person, exhibitionist documentaries performed correctly are my favorite form of journalism, never sparing the viewer and providing a window inside a world they’d never have the chance to witness. Emad’s life interweaving in the documentary is highly effective as well, seeing his youngest son grow from a newborn to a young boy, all while the landscape around them changes. Emad’s friends become memorable characters in this story as well, especially Adeeb and Phil, who are both film highlights and leave a lasting impression with their eventual story arcs. “5 Broken Cameras” raises awareness, and even if it is heavy on the side of the Palestinians, just being able to see the Israeli army shoot at non-violent protestors is angering enough for me.

RELEASE DATE
May 30, 2012

DIRECTOR
Emad Burnat
Guy Davidi

WRITTEN BY
Guy Davidi

STUDIO
Kino Lorber

NOT RATED

DOCUMENTARY
WAR

118 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Emad Burnat

COMPOSER
Le Trio Joubran

EDITOR
Véronique Lagoarde–Ségot
Guy Davidi

PRODUCED BY
Stephenie Meyer
Nick Wechsler
Steve Schwartz
Paula Mae Schwartz

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