An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, firsthand 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 given to Israeli co-director Guy Davidi to edit. Structured around the violent destruction of each one of Burnat's 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."
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
"5 Broken Cameras" provides a grim reminder - just in case you needed one - of the bitter intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.A.O. Scott, New York Times, 05.30.2012
As raw as the material of "5 Broken Cameras" can be, it is also lyrical and elegiac.Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, 09.13.2012
Startlingly intimate and direct, this first-person doc by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi requires multiple viewings for anyone eager to work out how it could have been shot with such precision and visual ingenuity under such plainly chaotic conditions.Mark Holcomb, Village Voice, 05.30.2012
[It] makes no pretense at balance - it's unambiguously pro-Palestinian - but it offers a unique and intimate record.Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle, 06.21.2012