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5 Broken Cameras

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5 Broken Cameras

Khamas Kamīrāt Muḥaṭṭamah
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IrelandUnited Kingdom
  • Palestine
  • 2011
  • 90 minutes SD
  • Documentary
  • Arthouse

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Filmed from the perspective of a Palestinian farm laborer (Emad Burnat), 5 Broken Cameras was shot using six different video cameras – five of which were destroyed in the process of documenting Emad’s family’s life as well as Palestinian and International resistance to Israeli appropriation of land and occupation. Emad, who lives in Bil'in, just west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, was thrust into global politics when his community peacefully resisted Israeli plans to erect a wall through their land to separate them from the ever growing Israeli settlements. Initially given the camera to chronicle the birth and childhood of his son Gibreel, the film captures Gibreel growing into a precocious preschooler against the backdrop of the many non-violent protests that have become an intrinsic part of life in Bil'in.


With hundreds of hours of video footage covering a period of over six years, Emad started working with Israeli activist and filmmaker Guy Davidi to produce a film. Guy helped shape the material and compose a commentary for the film. Together, they have turned 5 Broken Cameras into a larger-than-life lyrical device that both informs and structures their personal and collective struggles in the West Bank.


An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras daringly meshes personal essay with political cinema, displaying how images and cameras can change lives and realities.

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