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by Movies News Desk
The Academy Award-nominated documentary feature 5 BROKEN CAMERAS, co-directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi, will return to theaters in New York by popular demand, opening today at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and on January 25 at the Quad Cinema, followed by additional theatrical engagements in select cities. The film is also available nationwide this week on DVD, Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, Amazon and VOD outlets making it the most widely available of all the films nominated in the Documentary Feature category of the 85th Academy Awards.
A story that is Palestinian at its heart, 5 Broken Cameras is co-directed by Emad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer who began making the film to document the birth of his youngest son in their ancestral Palestinian village of Bil'in, and by Guy Davidi, an Israeli activist and supporter of the nonviolent peace movement in Palestine. 5 Broken Cameras is a Palestinian, Israeli and French co-production.
Emad Burnat, the film's co-director, states: "This is one of the happiest moments of my life. The village of Bil'in is celebrating because of the international support for my film. As a child I remember watching the Oscars on TV with the red carpet and movie stars. I don't recall seeing films about Palestine, the occupation or our struggles. Times have changed, and now Oscar Awards allow the world to witness an account of daily life under Israeli occupation - an opportunity most will never experience. The truth is powerful, it can heal. I hope this film can help heal misunderstanding about us during a very beautiful moment for our people and the world." He continues, "A filmmaker's dream is winning an Oscars however my dream is freedom for Palestine, we all have lots of work to do."
Co-director Guy Davidi says, "I was very happy to hear about our nomination. This is great news not only for Emad and I, but also for the village of Bil'in and everyone involved in the nonviolent movement throughout the West Bank - as well as the Israeli and international supporters dedicated to this cause. In my own community, an Oscar nomination will help bring the film to a wider audience in Israel, as it opens doors to broadcasts and additional screenings in theaters, and exposes students and other segments of the Israeli public to struggles that too often remain invisible. Beyond the importance of highlighting the political context and issues addressed in the film, I'm honored that the Academy acknowledged the power of cinematic storytelling in the documentary category. I am hopeful this will be a milestone On the Road to ending the occupation and securing a brighter and more just future for Palestinians and Israelis."
5 BROKEN CAMERAS recently won the top prize the Cinema Eye awards, presented at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Michael Moore accepted the award for co-Directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi with a hearfelt speech noting that the film shows something that the news couldn't show, something documentaries should fight to achieve.
"It is a humbling honor to be associated as distributors with a film of such impact and importance," said Richard Lorber, President and CEO of Kino Lorber. "As historic as it was for this landmark Palestinian-based work to actually be made by Palestinian and Israeli co-directors, so too is the unprecedented acclaim for it as both a profoundly political documentary and a work of art. We are inspired by the story of Emad, his family and his village of Bil'in, in Palestine, and doing all we can to share that with all of North America, hopefully echoing throughout the world."
About the Film
An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, 5 Broken Cameras is a deeply personal, first-hand account of non-violent resistance in Bil'in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements.
Shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, the footage was later turned into a galvanizing cinematic experience by co-directors Guy Davidi and Burnat.
Structured around the violent destruction of a succession of Burnat's video cameras, the filmmakers' collaboration follows one family's evolution over five years of village turmoil. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify, and lives are lost. "I feel like the camera protects me," he says, "but it's an illusion."
Emad Burnat is a Palestinian farmer and a freelance cameraman and photographer. His experience includes filming for TV channels such as Al-Jazeera, Israeli channels 1, 2 and 10, and Palestinian television. He has also worked with Reuters on several occasions, and filmed footage for the documentaries Bil'in, My Love, Palestine Kids, Open Close, and Interrupted Streams, among others.
Born in Jaffa, Israel, Guy Davidi is a documentary filmmaker and cinema teacher. He has been directing, editing, and shooting films since the age of 16. As a cameraman, he shot the films Hamza and Journal D'une Orange for France 3. Davidi also directed many short documentaries such as In Working Progress, Keywords, and Women Defying Barriers, which were presented in film festivals and venues worldwide. In 2010, Guy Davidi's first feature film, Interrupted Streams, premiered to great acclaim at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. Recently, Davidi has launched a campaign to bring 5 Broken Cameras to Israeli youth. Visit http://www.indiegogo.com/5bcyouth for information.