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Palestinian farm labourer Emad has five video cameras, and each of them tells a different part of the story of his village’s resistance to Israeli oppression. Emad lives in Bil’in, just west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Using the first camera, he recorded how bulldozers came to rip the olive trees out of the ground in 2005. Here, a wall was built directly through his fellow villagers’ land to separate the advancing Jewish settlements from the Palestinians. In the first days of resistance to the Jewish colonists and the ever-present Israeli soldiers, Emad’s son Gibreel was born. Scenes shift from the infant growing into a precocious preschooler to the many peaceful acts of protest, and the steady progress of the construction of the dividing wall. Sympathisers from all over the world, including from Israel, provide help as resistance develops, but when the situation intensifies, people are arrested and villagers are killed. Emad keeps on filming despite pleas from his wife, who fears reprisals. It makes for an intensely powerful personal document about one village’s struggle against violence and oppression.

5 Broken Cameras won the Sundance 2012 World Documentary Directing Award

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