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I believe my review says everything needed to be said about this amazing documentary. Out of the three documentaries I have viewed thus far, this is my personal pick to win, although I have a feeling the more talked about “The Invisible War” could have a better shot.


Any human being willing to put their life on the line to document certain political activities, whether knowledgeable (or not) of what that action might entail or lead to, is an important historical figure in my book. In the case for the documentary “5 Broken Cameras”, Emad Burnat, a Palestinian olive farmer who spends his free-time as an exhibitionist film-maker, is that historical figure, who, whether he knows it or not, puts his life on the line every time he steps into a non-violent protest group with Israeli troops shooting tear gas and live rounds at them. Willing to go through the pain and hassle of not only buying a new camera every time one his is shot, broken, or stolen, but seeing his friends killed in front of him, being involved in serious injuries himself, and having his wife and kids in the path of danger as well and often not supporting him, Emad is making history by documenting the wrongs that are being done to the Palestinians of Bil’in, a peaceful village on the edge of a brand new concrete wall and residential building consuming their way of life. First person, exhibitionist documenting done correctly is my favorite form of journalism, never sparing the viewer and providing a window into a world that they’d other never have the chance to witness. Having Emad’s life interweave in the documentary is extremely effective as well, seeing his youngest son grow from a newborn to a young boy, all while the landscape around them changes. Emad’s friends become memorable characters in this story as well, especially Adeeb and Phil, who are both highlights of the film and also leave a lasting impression with their eventual story arcs. “5 Broken Cameras” raises awareness, and even if it is heavy on the side of the Palestinians, just being able to see the Israeli army shoot at non-violent protestors is angering enough for me.

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// Produced by Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Emad Burnat, & Guy Davidi // Directed by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi //

// Dated Viewed: Sunday, January 20th, 2013 // NETFLIX //  25 films – 36 days //


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