5 Broken Cameras

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5 Broken Cameras (2011)

Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi

When Emad Burnat began filming the non-violent resistance of his small Palestinian village against the Israeli military he had one small camera. Over the course of several years, and the lives of many cameras, Emad captured some of the efforts his people were making to retain their land. The result of this filming is a very personal account of one village’s struggles. Taken from Emad’s perspective, the film focuses on his experience as well as the experiences of his sons.

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The film is patched together from a lot of different events. From tragedy to triumph, this documentary is a great reminder of the human side of the conflicts going on around the world. Burnat opens up his personal life for the camera with great success. This includes his wife and sons talking about the fear of dying in the conflict to the death of good friends. He even shows the turmoil within his own home over the his choice to continue filming in dangerous situations.  It’s not too surprising that this film was nominated for Best Feature Documentary at the Oscars.

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There are many sides to the conflict between Palestine and Israel. This film does a remarkable job of not pushing an agenda, while letting some intense images speak for themselves. I’m impressed on the focus given to the personal side of the conflict. Emad Burnat does a wonderful job focusing on the people around him, avoiding much of the larger picture. This makes this film feel much more personal and powerful. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 94 minutes

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