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Palestinian documentary nominated for Oscar
Published Saturday 12/01/2013 (updated) 19/01/2013 15:22
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian documentary portraying the popular struggle against Israel's separation wall has been nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Documentary Film.

The film, 'Five Broken Cameras,' tells the story of non-violent resistance in the village of Bilin, as told through the experience of villager Emad Burnat, who filmed the majority of the documentary.

"I started documenting what happens in Bilin from Israeli violations and raids to protests held by the residents as a way to expose the Israeli practices against Palestinians," Burnat told official news agency WAFA.

"I later decided that I want to make a movie that tells the story of Bilin through authentic Palestinian voices," he added.

Burnat said he asked Israeli co-director Guy Davidi, who used to participate in protests in the village, to help him with the film.

The entire documentary was shot in and around Bilin in 2005 and presents the stories of Burnat, the life of his son, who was born with the beginning of the nonviolent resistance movement in the village, and other outstanding figures and friends in the village.

When asked about Israeli media referring to the movie as an Israeli film, he said that the film is 100 percent Palestinian, made by a Palestinian director and tells the story of the Palestinians of Bilin.

"I don’t think the help of an Israeli director has affected the movie in the least since I am well aware of Davidi’s position regarding the conflict," Burnat added.

On his Facebook page, Davidi said the Oscar nomination was both a day of "joy and sadness," referring to the reactions from both sides concerning the Israeli-Palestinian partnership behind the film.

"There is a nonviolent struggle that faces challenges not only from the Israeli occupation but also from within, and the portrayal of partnership with Israelis is a complex challenge," Davidi wrote on his Facebook page, according to the Electronic Intifada website.

The title of the documentary refers to the five cameras that were smashed by Israeli soldiers while recording the struggle and steadfastness of the people of Bilin.

The nominations were announced on Thursday and the Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the end of February.
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1 ) Julie / USA
12/01/2013 17:59
here's a link to the full 90 minute film in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles: http://hot.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4331191,00.html

2 ) Mel / USA
12/01/2013 18:06
Bravo!It's a good doc & deserves it!BUT...another award nomination DOES NOT COMPENSATE for ending 78yrs Zionist violence,or Israel OCCUPATION, in The Palestinian Territories,West Bank,E/Jerusalem,or the illegal blockade of Gaza! Powerful,wealthy American Jews MUST commit MORE,to divesting from destructive Zionism,than just giving'Oscars'& then burying their heads again,for another Hollywood-hasbara year,while the REALITY of Zionism's holocaust on Palestinians continues! No Oscars for APARTHEID!!

3 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
12/01/2013 19:27
Emad, you made such a beautiful film. Your kids, your wife and family, Bassem Abu Rahmeh - may he rest in peace - you all make me so proud to be Palestinian. Well, I'm always proud to be Palestinian ! If people don't understand Arabic or Hebrew, but happen to know French, here's a 52-minutes version shown on French television in october. The hasbara had a very hard time trying to debunk the truth about Zionism in the following debate www.dailymotion.com/video/k6cGOVNZnpOctx3qac0

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2013 23:47
It's interesting that 'Five Broken Cameras' is being billed as an Israeli film. That may be an attempt to short-circuit the knee-jerk resistance in Hollywood to permit anything Palestinian to be recognized ever.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2013 23:48
To Julie #1 'here's a link to the full 90 minute film in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles.' It's also available w/English subtitles on Nexflix -- disc, however, not instant viewing.

6 ) ian / australia
13/01/2013 03:31
I predict it will win (Hollywood being famously liberal, as well as Jewish) and if being called an Israeli film helps, well, it's a small price to pay. (If the Israeli impulse for self-congratulation means the message of this Palestinian film is spread far and wide...well let it be another Israeli achievement!) It's a FANTASTIC documentary, a beautifully filmed and utterly truthful depiction of a great injustice. The bit where Phil ("Elephant"), a totally vivid and lovable guy, dies is the most

7 ) ian / australia
13/01/2013 03:32
(contd.) moving thing I've ever seen. The pointlessness, the waste of this adorable, warm-hearted dude, loved by all and central to the community, being killed for NOTHING by an Israeli child/soldier at a demonstration is what stays with me most. (I suppose that needed a spoiler alert...but see the film. It's great.) (Malia and Sasha should see it and ask Daddy to explain.)

8 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
13/01/2013 13:04
How come Maan censored my comment about the sentence "the entire documentary was shot in and around Bilin in 2005" showing that the author of this article clearly hasn't seen the film ? We follow Bilin during five years, from Jibreel, Emad Burnat's youngest son, is born till he's five years old, we see the killing of Bassem Abu Rahmeh in 2009, and the de-routing of the "security fence" - an excuse for stealing more Palestinian land. ElectronicIntifada has an article on the "Israeli film"-stick

9 ) Jihane / Palestine/France
13/01/2013 13:28
@ Ian It's not a 'small price' to pay that the film is called Israeli cf. hasbara. This is Emad's film, he filmed 5 years before contacting Davidi, and he has strongly opposed the labeling, cf http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/oscar-nominated-5-broken-cameras-israeli-or-palestinian-film In the film we also see Ashraf Abu Rahmeh, Bassem's brother being shot in the leg while blindfolded and handcuffed, and his sister Jawaher died from inhaling tear gas toxics , January 1st 2011.

10 ) ian / australia
14/01/2013 00:16
#9 "@ Ian It's not a 'small price' to pay that the film is called Israeli." I totally understand what you're saying Jihane. It's important Emad Burnat gets full credit and it's seen as a Palestinian film. Which would be obvious to anyone who sees it. (I mean NO-ONE could watch it and think "I have just seen an Israeli film" despite how it's billed.) It is a bit "Israeli" though...with the editing of Guy Davidi (who's called "co-director") which I think is the worst thing about it: it's slick and

11 ) ian / australia
14/01/2013 00:17
(contd.) artsy fartsy, a "professional" job like political ads on TV, and a bit cloying (with the plaintive oud music) in a way that makes you feel manipulated. (Like ALL films these days.) The thing is the raw footage is so powerful, and morally clear, it doesn't need this overlay (provided by the editing) to create meaning. It's already there. I'm sure Guy Davidi is a good guy but his input, the "Israeli" part, is the one thing you could call fake. (Perhaps Israelis have had so much practice,

12 ) ian / australia
14/01/2013 00:18
(contd.) it's seeped into the DNA and they can't help themselves. I almost wish Emad had edited it himself in a less "professional", DIY way...but then maybe the glitzy sheen is why it's being noticed and nominated for an Oscar, that and being sold to Americans as "an Israeli film".)
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