Tag Archives: Bi’lin

‘Five Broken Cameras': A ‘best documentary of the year’?

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In Five Broken Cameras (opening at Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas on Friday, June 22) you’ll see overzealous security forces hurling tear gas canisters at civilians, fences being torn down, protesters throwing rocks, and a courageous camera operator recording it all for posterity. It’s not, however, the latest livestream from “Oscar Grant Plaza,” but a remarkable documentary culled from the video archives of a Palestinian “citizen journalist” who’s been filming in the Occupied Territories since 2005.

A self-described falah (peasant), Emad Burnat was born and raised in the West Bank village of Bil’in. A free spirit who preferred roaming nearby hills to picking olives with his father, Burnat acquired a new appreciation for Olea europaea after Israeli surveyors and bulldozers arrived to clear trees and prepare the way for the construction of the West Bank Wall.

Acquiring his first camera shortly after the birth of his fourth son in 2005, Burnat initially used his new toy to film village parties and family events. That same year, however, residents of Bil’in began marching each week to protest the construction of the Wall and the loss of their land to hastily built apartment complexes for ultra-orthodox Jewish settlers. Burnat and his camera were soon tagging along. … Continue reading »

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