Five Broken Cameras

"Extraordinary"

Five Broken Cameras Review


It's impossible to understate the importance of this documentary in helping us see exactly what life is like in occupied Palestine. By sticking so closely to one perspective, the film opens itself to accusations of manipulation and one-sidedness. But that's precisely the point as it captures details of the daily situation in Israel and Palestine that we have never seen before. And it's assembled with real skill by journalist Emad Burnat.

Burnat decided to start documenting his life when his son Gibreel was born in 2005. Using a home video camera, he shows the family home in the village of Bil'in with his wife perturbed Soraya and kids. And we also meet three important friends: the likeable Bassem (who everyone calls "Phil"), hotheaded Adeeb and nice-guy Daba. So as the Israelis partition his family's olive grove with a huge fence and no man's land, Burnat and his friends begin peaceful protests. But the Israeli police and settlers respond with abuse, teargas, arrests and even bullets. Even when they take the police to court to get their land back, it takes five years for the Israelis to accept the verdict.

Through all of this, Burnat watches Gibreel's reaction to the world around him. His first childish experiences involve violence and fear, and he simply can't understand why anyone would want to shoot his friends. He grows up seeing Israelis as nothing but masked thugs who wave their big guns rather than talk. As one camera after another is smashed or shot by the soldiers, Burnat tenaciously captures some very big events, including a friend's death and his own near-fatal car crash.

Without ever saying so, it's clear that what we're seeing is a present-day form of Apartheid. And Burnat's voiceover injects not only lucid narration of the events but also his own thoughts and feelings, which makes the film that much more involving. Israel's supporters may complain that this doesn't give their side of the story, but that's not what this film is documenting: it's showing you how it feels to be oppressed in your own home, stripped of freedoms and basic rights. And this makes it utterly unmissable.

Rich Cline



Five Broken Cameras

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 20th February 2013

Box Office USA: $0.1M

Distributed by: Kino Lorber Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi

Producer: Guy Davidi

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.