5 Broken Cameras
2011
****½
Director: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
Cast:

Emad Burnat, whose family lives in a small Palestinian village of Bil’in, loves to shoot video. His youngest son Gibreel is born in 2005, just as the Israelis begin to build the West Bank barrier across the local farmlands. The modest home video project becomes something bigger when he takes his camera(s) in the thick of the protests against the oppressors. This moving documentary is assembled almost entirely from Emad’s footage which he edited together with Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi. Their film is terrific because it operates on so many levels. On the one hand, it tells a deeply personal story, on the other hand, it makes a strong political statement. It’s also a warm depiction of a small tight-knit community and a classic David versus Goliath story, as the unarmed villagers repeatedly clash with the Israeli Defense Forces. Moreover, it’s a story of Emad’s five cameras which aid and sometimes even protect the owner in his quest for justice. And lastly, it’s a story of young and innocent Gibreel who develops a thick skin growing up in this hostile environment.