‘Five Broken Cameras’ is somewhat of an unintentional film. The footage taken over years by Emad Burnat, a resident of Bil’in village in the West Bank, is put together with footage taken by Guy Davidi, the Israeli director of the movie, and others to make a film on the Palestinian life under the Israeli occupation. The documentary is not about ‘Five Broken Cameras’ per se; it is rather about five cameras that got broken after taking some awesome footage.
The story of Emad’s five cameras-- each one of it got busted in an act of violence--is interwoven with many other stories: that of his own children growing up under siege, of Israel’s land grab, of the building of barrier walls around Palestinian villages, of the Jewish settlers moving in the newly constructed homes, and of relentless protests by the Palestinians.
Besides being educational about the plight of the Palestinians, ‘Five Broken Cameras’ proves two things. One, that in this new age credible history is only whatever can be shown to the world through a video footage, and, Two, that Israeli snipers are really sharp-shooters —they can aim at a hand-held camera and shoot exactly that object, sparing the person holding the camera.
A screening of ‘Five Broken Cameras’, at the Santa Clara University Library on November 12, organized under the auspices of the ‘Culture and Conflict Forum’ and sponsored by the Muslim Student Association (Santa Clara University) was attended by around 35 people.
A Q&A session with Ziad Abbas, Manager for Cross-Cultural programs at the Middle East Children's Alliance in Berkeley and Bethlehem, Palestine, took place after the screening.