5 Broken Cameras


5 Broken Cameras
Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Kino Lorber
Opens May 30, Film Forum
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. The film is an account of five years in the life of Burnat, a Palestinian farmer whose hometown of Bil’in is overtaken by Israeli settlements (a euphemism for high-rise sprawl) just as his youngest son, Gibreel, is born and his desire to make meaningful cinematic documents takes root. A series of inexpensive cameras gets sacrificed as he and Davidi, an Israeli, brave increasing violence and official indifference to capture the widespread involvement of Burnat’s friends and neighbors in the village’s resistance movement. It’s impossible not to care about these people, which triggers alarms over how thoroughly 5 Broken Cameras elicits sympathy for Palestinians at the expense of an Israeli perspective. (The settlers come off as cartoonishly thuggish, with their itchy fists and default cries of “I’ll sue you!”) But Burnat and Davidi aim less for journalistic balance than a deeply personal explication of resistance—mortifying, invigorating, possibly futile, and probably the only dignified response under the circumstances. “It takes strength to turn something negative into something possible,” Burnat says of Bil’in’s struggle, and he could just as easily be talking about his and Davidi’s film.
My Voice Nation Help

How typical -- another so-called journalist demands "balance" in a situation that clearly entails war crimes committed by the israelis against the Palestinians. 

When will the media stop sucking up to these criminals who attack unarmed citizens who do not succumb to violent tactics used by their oppressors but succumb to the numerous traumas foisted on them by invaders who use violence to steal what does not belong to them?

Once again,  the media thinly veils its vilification of the Palestinians, minimizes the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Israelis, siding with an oppressive regime that ought to be charged at the Hague. As if that's " balance".

"Balance" does not apply in this situation. The israelis are thieves, thugs, criminals of the worst kind. They  have a history of using atrocious strategies to take over land that does not belong to them. The story will end only when these war criminals  are brought to justice & the Palestinians regain ownership of their land. 

A brave movie. 

Terrible review: more misguided pro-Israeli propaganda from the media. 

Since when does art have to distort the truth to satisfy pseudo journalistic criteria? 


great film. not so great review. i would know little from reading this review, which i now find irresponsible and shallow at best.


Distilling 'Five Broken Cameras' as an account of a village "overtaken by highrise sprawl," only serves to show Mr. Holocomb own warped sense of "euphemism." It is truly a travesty for this reviewer to reduce oppression, theft, torture, and murder with such callous triviality. After such a journalistic transgression, nothing more need be said about his review or this reviewer.

This documentary is truly courageous and truly remarkable film-making, on every level. It belongs on the singularly shortest list for the 2012 Oscar. But, don't take anyone else's word on it... See for yourself.


Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!