“I film to heal”, explains director and narrator of Five Broken Cameras Emad Burnat. The footage obtained by Burnat acts as a painful reminder of the brutal reality experienced by many Palestinians. As suggested by the title, the documentary surrounds the events that ultimately lead to the destruction of each of Burnat’s cameras over a period of five years. Telling a personal story of Burnat, his family and his fellow villagers, the film is both poignant and inspiring.
Amid all the despair there is a sense of hope, as the villagers of Bil’in come together to resist the Israeli occupation. Even without knowing much about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the viewer can relate and sympathise with Burnat’s struggle. The mainstream media’s portrayal of distant conflicts often lacks substance, which is just what this film offers.
Nominated for the Best Documentary Feature in the 85th Academy Awards, as well as winning the World Cinema Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Five Broken Cameras is not only visually absorbing, but thought provoking. Regardless of the attempts to describe and endorse this film, words cannot do it justice. The film must be seen and judged by the individual.