Film Review 5 Broken Cameras
The Duke of York
“Despair and anger”: these were the resounding emotions left with audience members after the Brighton premier of ‘5 Broken Cameras’ (the winner of World Cinema Documentary Directing award at the Sundance Film Festival) at The Duke of York’s cinema this Sunday.
Shot in Bil’in, a village close to Ramallah in the West Bank, the film spans 5 years through the eyes of Emad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer who finds solace in recording what he sees around him.
The film tracks the non-violent resistance to the building of both a ‘security’ fence, as well as a large Israeli settlement, both of which are being built on stolen Palestinian land in Bil’in.
When violence begins to happen in the area, Emad is there to film it. “When I film, I feel like the camera protects me,” he tells us.
But this isn’t always the case. As the audience sees in footage which is at times very disturbing, he is attacked, shot and injured on many occasions.
Through the 5 years of filming, he goes through 5 cameras, each one lasting only so long before being smashed or shot at by an Israeli soldier. And yet he refuses to stop filming. “It is my destiny,” he says.
The premier was followed by a Q&A with talented co-director Guy Davidi, an Israeli film maker who helped Emad turn his footage into an extraordinary piece of art.
Guy explained the uniqueness of the film, something that makes it both deeply moving, and extremely distressing.
The film shows something that many documentaries about the conflict have previously failed to do. It shows the situation for what it really is. There is no narration by a non-Palestinian explaining who is right and who is wrong, or pleading with an international audience to finally take action.
There is no agenda, no gloss, no Hollywood touch. An outstanding work, it juxtaposes incredibly harrowing footage alongside beautiful images of solidarity, strength and love.
The film simply shows the truth; real footage, by a real Palestinian, living through a very real apartheid.