At the birth of his son Gibreel, Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat is given his first movie camera and begins recording both Gibreel’s childhood and the conflict growing around them.
As Israel’s controversial ‘security barrier’ is built through their village, olive groves and buildings are destroyed by Israeli troops; violent protests are even more violently suppressed, and in the process the five cameras of the title are smashed. But with the help of Jewish filmmaker Guy Davidi, the narrative also reflects moments of hope and minor triumph that underpin the determined spirit of Burnat, his family and their fellow residents.
Whatever one may think about this complex and divisive issue, Burnat and Davidi’s documentary is an affecting, sometimes almost poetic study that reminds us that despite the political intransigence, the situation must be one day be resolved.
5 BROKEN CAMERAS was awarded the IFDA prize at Amsterdam Film Festival and the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, as well as further prizes at Sundance, London Open City, and the Stranger Than Fiction Film Festival in Dublin.