Five Broken Cameras

  • 5 Caméras Brisées
Genre : War
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : History/society, Intercultural/migrations
Year of production : 2011
Format : Feature
Running time : 90 (in minutes)

Five Broken Cameras is a Franco-Israeli-Palestinian documentary written and directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, and released in 2011.

When Emad Burnat, a Palestinian from the West Bank, received a camera for the birth of Gibreel, his fourth son, in 2005, he had no idea he would one day direct a feature film. It must be said that it was on this day that Israeli bulldozers entered the village of Bil'in where they began to cut down trees (mostly olive trees) to build the "separation wall" expropriating the 1,700 inhabitants. from his village of their land to expand and "protect" the Jewish colony of Modi'in Illit, planned to accommodate 150,000 settlers by 2020. Emad then begins to film not only Gibreel, without forgetting his wife and other sons, but also the resistance actions that the inhabitants of Bil 'in began to undertake. They adopted a form of non-violent struggle to obtain the right to remain owners of their land and to continue to cultivate it on the other side of the wall because it is their only source of income. Emad will strive to film the villagers in their daily struggle as closely as possible, and not just the spectacular violence usually sought by the media.

Emad thus produced a chronicle of the resistance of Bil'in: the demonstrations of the villagers joined by Israeli pacifists and from all countries. Most of the time, these are rather good-natured marches starting from the village towards the separation wall behind which the soldiers are waiting for them and, despite the barbed wire which protects them, the soldiers shoot tear gas grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators. . ... Emad filmed the first arrests, the first injured, the first deaths, the kindest man in the village whom all the children adored.

The camera (or rather the five successive cameras) has therefore become a witness, a "weapon", insofar as it has served to bear witness to the violence of the soldiers, sometimes to calm them but not always... since it will win he is arrested for filming. She will also serve as his "shield" the day she saves his life by receiving the bullet that would otherwise have hit him in the head. Thanks to various acts of violence by the military, five cameras were broken.

This documentary shows over time the conflict seen from the inside, the desire of the Palestinians to coexist peacefully with the Israelis, the paradoxes which make the Israelis arrest, insult, kill but, paradoxically, the day when Emad has an accident which could have been fatal to him, he was saved thanks to the care provided in an Israeli hospital. Likewise for the editing of his documentary, Emad will call on the director Guy Davidi, an Israeli pacifist who has participated in numerous village demonstrations.

The result is above all a beautiful documentary which combines intimate, family and social life. It has already been seen by many Israelis, has won seventeen awards* and is even in competition for the Oscars in Hollywood. This documentary is also a beautiful lesson in collaboration between an Israeli and a Palestinian, a lesson in hope that the peaceful struggle of the inhabitants of Bil'in, which has become emblematic, can one day contribute to the restoration of Palestinian rights.

5 Broken Cameras

Documentary film 90 min – Colors –
Palestine/Israel/France – 2012
Director: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Production: Allegria Productions, Guy DVD Films, Burnat Films Palestine
Distribution France: Zeugma Films
Music: The Joubran Trio

* Prix de la réalisation documentaire au Festival de Sundance 2012 – USA, Prix du meilleur documentaire au Jerusalem Film Festival 2012, Prix Louis Marcorelles au Cinéma du réel 2012, Festival international de films documentaires – Paris, Prix spécial du jury et Prix du public au Festival international du documentaire d'Amsterdam (IDFA) 2011, Prix du meilleur documentaire au Rooftop Films 2012 – New York, Prix du meilleur film au Traverse City Film Festival 2012 – Etats-Unis, Prix du public au Sheffield Doc/Fest 2012, Grand Prix du jury à l'Open City Docs Fest 2012 – Londres, Prix de la réalisation au One World 2012, festival international du film sur les droits de l'homme – Prague, Prix Stephen Jarl du meilleur documentaire international au festival Tempo 2012 – Stockholm, Prix du meilleur documentaire à l'Eurodok Film Festival 2012 – Norvège, Prix des étudiants et Prix du meilleur réalisateur au Movies that Matter 2012, festival de films sur les droits de l'homme – La Haye, Prix du meilleur documentaire au Durban Film Festival 2012 – Afrique du Sud, Prix du meilleur documentaire au Yerevan International Film Festival 2011 – Arménie, Prix du public à l'IFI Stranger Than Fiction 2012, festival du film documentaire de Dublin, Grand Prix Millenium et Prix The Marshall of Lower Silesia au Planete+ Doc Film Festival 2012 – Pologne, Prix du Public aux Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal 2012, et Prix des détenus aux Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal 2012.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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