DVD REVIEW: 5 Broken Cameras


GRADE: 5 out of 5 reels

UPC: 738329093525

RELEASE DATE: January 15, 2013

DISC INFORMATION: 1 disc, color, full screen, Arabic language, English subtitles

RUNNING TIME:  90 minutes


RATED: Not Rated, but would probably earn a PG-13  or R for violence and war images

GENRE:  Documentary

STARRING:  Emad Burnat and his family and friends of the village, Bil’in

Emad gets his first camera to record the birth of his youngest son and realizes through his filming the importance of documenting life and how precious it is.  As he and his friends stage non-violent resistance to the advancing Israeli settlements on their farm lands, his cameras fall victim to the Israeli soldiers and their tactics to break up the protests.  Tear gas grenades, bullets, batons, and mid-night arrests of children are used to keep the citizens in fear and under their control.  Emad reflects on the different stages of his country with the birth of each of his sons.  From plentiful to barren, from peace to war, from freedom to fear; this family has endured.  With the continuing push of the Israeli soldiers into their family farmlands, he is forced to wonder what the future of his county will be for his sons.

Powerful and gripping tale of a Palestinian farmer and his family during a time of country unrest.  People live in fear and tensions rise in protests of Israeli soldiers moving into their lands.  The images are brutal of the attacks on the peaceful protesters.  Each camera records the events up until its last working frame.  Some are lost to bullets while others are lost from tear gas canisters.

The violence of the soldiers in retaliation to the non-violent resistance protestors is shocking and unforgettable.  One image is a handcuffed man walked over to a patrol vehicle so that another soldier can shoot the man in the leg with his rifle only inches from his pant leg.  Arresting of boys from the ages of 8-14 in the middle of the night to provoke fear in the villagers.

The camera records more than just this man’s family and the growth of his boys but the changes that occur throughout his village among his friends and neighbors.  It’s a gripping and engrossing and wonderfully put together.  Touching and riveting, a very well done family life film in the middle of a war torn country.

Great film to add to your library or recommend to friends.  It’s not a very family friendly film, but it is a very well done film about the value of family in the worse conditions.  A great inside look at the struggles within Palestine and its citizens.  It’s definitely worth seeing.

That’s my review and I’m sticking with it.

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