5 Broken Cameras

Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi

The major winner at IDFA 2011. Personal testimony from a Palestinian father who spent five years filming the peaceful protests of his fellow villagers against the construction of an Israeli barrier wall. Cameras break on a regular basis.

Palestinian farm worker Emad Burnat lives with his wife and three children in the village of Bil’in, which is located a few kilometres from the West Bank of the River Jordan. When his fourth son Gibreel is born, Emad starts filming his youngest child’s development from day one. In the meantime, the community he lives in is losing more and more land to Israeli colonists who are building new settlements in the area. When a barrier wall is erected in the village, the villagers rise up in protest. Burnat decides to document the peaceful protests with his video camera. Because their opponents strike back hard, his camera frequently breaks during filming; by the end, Emad has needed five cameras to record the protests. As resistance intensifies and the fight grows grimmer, Emad keeps on filming, despite his wife’s pleas to stop for fear of reprisals. Highly personal and penetrating, the film documents one village and its struggle against repression.


Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi
Country of production
France, Israel, Palestine, Netherlands, The
90 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, Hebrew
Production company
Guy DVD Films
Dutch distributor
Cinema Delicatessen