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

New Movies

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

Zoolander 2 Movie Review

With virtually the same blend of wit and idiocy as the 2001 original, this fashion-scene...

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

A Bigger Splash Movie Review

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love) reteams with Tilda Swinton for this fresh, tricky...

Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool Movie Review

Both the filmmakers and the characters on-screen are so pleased with themselves that this might...

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

Advertisement
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

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.