When his son is born in 2005, Emad Burnat gets his first camera. At the same time in his village of Bil’in, Palestine, a separation barrier is being built – and the villagers begin to resist
Burnat, a self-taught cameraman, begins to film this non-violent struggle, which is led by two of his best friends, while at the same time recording the growth of his son. Soon, the struggle begins to affect his life. Daily arrests, violent attacks, deaths, night raids and the bulldozing of olive trees scare his family. He, his friends and brothers are variously shot or arrested. One camera after another used to document these events is destroyed in the conflict.
Eventually Burnat joins forces with an Israeli filmmaker, Guy Davidi, and together the two filmmakers have created a powerful piece of work – where each camera unfolds a chapter in Burnat’s story.
“If you are wounded you will always remember your wound, even after it has healed. But what if you are injured again and again… you forget your scars. But the camera remembers, and so I film to heal,” says Emad Burnat.
‘WorldView support was very exciting for us. You saw the importance of the film [and] sensed the emotion from the trailer. Your reaction and commitment were so sincere and without any long discussions or calculations, these were enough to put you on board. It’s the best partnership one can have.’– Guy Davidi
Uniquely powerful… An engrossing, out-of-the-ordinary film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ★★★★★ Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
This is that most rare film of both inspiration and aspiration ★★★★★ Richard Lorber
A compelling personal tale Ethan Bronner, The New York Times
Lyrical…elegiac…powerful and affecting Sheri Linden, LA Times
5 Broken Cameras took me by surprise. What had initially seemed like a harrowing but straightforward document became increasingly layered with ground-level human detail, and ended as a very moving experience: you’re no longer looking at two sides of a conflict, but at life, ongoing even under conditions of the greatest hardship and oppression. And for me, the fact that it was made by a Palestinian and an Israeli filmmaker, working together, is inspiring. Martin Scorcese
- Nominated Best Documentary Feature, Academy Awards, 2013
- Winner Best Documentary, International Emmy, 2013
- Winner Best Documentary, Durban International Film Festival, 2012
- Winner World Cinema Direction Award, Sundance 2012
- Winner Cinema du Reel, Prix Louis-Marcorelles, 2012
- Winner The Stephan Jarl Documentary award, Tempo Film Festival, Stockholm 2012
- Winner The Best Director Award, One World Human Rights Film Festival, Prague 2012
- Winner The Golden Butterfly Award: A Matter of Act Competition, Movies That Matter, The Hague, 2012
- Winner The Student’s Choice Award Movies that Matter, The Hague, 2012
- Winner IDFA Special Jury Award and Audience Award, 2011
- Winner Best Project Award, Greenhouse 2009 pitching forum