“I kept thinking – how can I produce an emotionally charged film whilst maintaining a very gentle tone?”
This is what Guy Davidi, an Israeli film producer, asked himself.
In 2012 the film “Five Broken Cameras” co-directed by Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli Guy Davidi became the most successful Palestinian-Israeli documentary ever. In January 2013 it won the World Cinema Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival and it was nominated for an Oscar as the best documentary feature film.
But is the world ready to see it?
The film shows the first years of life for Burnat’s baby against the backdrop of the Palestinian village Bil’in and how the local civilians resist the Israeli Wall which, together with Israeli settlers, are illegally on Palestinian land.
The thing is, the story of Emad Burnat’s family in Bil’in is not unique. It is the story of just about every village in the West Bank of Palestine. Burnat simply filmed regular events as they unfolded. He says that five of his cameras were smashed by the Israeli army as he documented friends and family members being shot and injured by Israeli troops.
Yet despite the acclaim and international awards, the film is not allowed in Israeli schools. But the Israeli director in the team, Guy Davidi, finds different ways to show it to young Israelis.
Those who watched it, said the film (and the story they did not know) changed their lives. They ask:
“What are we to do now that we know?”
The year 2013 is upon us. Read the story behind the acclaimed film, watch the trailer and listen to what Israeli youth say after watching it:
For us who have already witnessed what happens in Palestine, what are we to do?
For me one thing is to talk about the Palestinians’ choice of non-violent resistance… and initiatives with them and with like-minded others such as my Jewish and Muslim friends and colleagues. When the time is ready, I shall do so in future posts.
May we all have open hearts in the rest of 2013 – hearts that will not only receive, but also share blessings of goodwill and love. May we co-discover ways to create a dignified peace. And may this film remind us that all in the world deserve dignity.