|Emad Burnet with his 5 Broken Cameras.|
Its 2005, Palestinian villager Emad Burnet gets his first cine camera with the intention of documenting the life of his fourth son Gibreel. At the same time the Israelis start to bulldoze olive groves to build a fence that will separate Emad’s village Bil’in from the Jewish Settlement Modi'in Illit. The erection of this separation barrier means that the villagers will loose 60% of their farmland, destroying their livelihoods and taking away land that has been theirs for generations. The villagers have no choice other than to resist the seizure by the Jewish settlers. Emad starts to film the escalating struggle lead by two of best friends, while simultaneously recording the growth of his youngest son. During this period our intrepid cameraman has 5 cameras damaged beyond use, with each one being replaced so he can continue with what became an important part of the fight to regain their hereditary land.
|Palestinian land gradually disappears....|
|...decimated by Israel bulldozers.|
Emad’s first camera is broken when a gas grenade wounds him, a settler breaks Emad’s second camera, and his third is shot at and hit twice. During the first year he films mainly for the needs of activists to further the course with his footage being used as evidence in a Israeli court and also shown through YouTube to create awareness for the growing movement. When the truck he is driving crashes into the separation wall, the images of this accident are the last to be filmed by the fourth camera. Emad remains unconscious for 20 days in an Israeli hospital. He sustained serious injuries, and was on the verge of death. During a further demonstration, his fifth camera was deliberately smashed by a soldier and repaired before it is shot and broken again.
Another document of mans inhumanity to man with innocent people being killed for simply taking part in demonstration’s to safeguard their homes, land and therefore their livelihood. In a funny way it’s the amateurishness of the filming that makes such an intriguing watch, knowing that what we are seeing is of real importance to the filmmaker and his subjects. The most inspiring part of this documentary is that even when faced with Israeli bullets, beatings and evictions the Palestinians stick to their non-violent ideals, which as Emad admits isn’t easy.
We made 5 Broken Cameras (2012) to inspire people in their own lives, beyond the scope of political discourse. Although politics are an inherent foundation of the film, we made sincere attempts to challenge our own biases, setting aside cliché and ideological traps. In the end, we have opened our hearts to viewers, and hope they will respond in kind. Yes certainly a film to inspire.