[Marxism] ’5 Broken Cameras’ is reminiscent of ‘The Battle of Algiers’ (but the ‘NYT’ can’t tell you that)

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 07:51:42 MDT 2012

"5 Broken Cameras" co-directors Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli
Guy Davidi won the World Cinema Directing Award, Documentary at the
Sundance Film Festival early this year.
It played to full houses and got standing ovations.

Our local group Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land helped Emad
overcome some visa/travel problems to get to Utah last January.
Because of my participation in the group i got to meet and talk with
Emad and Guy over dinner.

We helped to promote the film and had the satisfaction of developments
like this one reported on in the LDS (Mormon) Church owned daily
newspaper the Deseret News:

Sundance filmmakers make time to challenge high school students with
thought-provoking questions
by Jamshid Ghazi Askar

Deseret News
February 3, 2012

"Show and tell"
front page story w/ 5 pictures
weekend section, page C1

SALT LAKE CITY — On the ninth day of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival,
"5 Broken Cameras" co-directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi ascend to
the stage in a downtown theater that echoes yesteryear with a
low-hanging balcony and loud paisleys dotting the plush red carpeting.
More than 400 high school students sit in uncharacteristic silence,
eagerly absorbing every word emerging from the men's mouths.

Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United
States. And as the 2012 event draws to a close, Burnat and Davidi
stand on the cusp of fame. The very next night the men will win
Sundance's World Cinema Directing Award for documentaries, and "5
Broken Cameras" is playing to rave reviews as it takes viewers to the
front lines of a Palestinian village's peaceful resistance against the
forceful Israeli seizure of ancestral farming land in order to build
new Jewish settlements.
. . .
full at:  <http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700221097/Show-and-tell-Sundance-filmmakers-make-time-to-challenge-high-school-students-with.html>

On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 7:28 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/5-broken-cameras-is-reminiscent-of-the-battle-of-algiers-but-the-nyt-cant-say-tell-you-that.html
> ’5 Broken Cameras’ is reminiscent of ‘The Battle of Algiers’ (but the ‘NYT’
> can’t tell you that)
> by Abdeen Jabara on May 31, 2012
> I spent this morning calling friends to get their friends and their friends'
> friends to go down and see the film, Five Broken Cameras. I saw it last
> night, and I was blown away.
> Anybody’s who interested in peace, justice in Palestine/Israel, has to see
> this movie. It’s an incredible documentary about the steadfastness of the
> villagers in Bil'in and of the steadfastness of this one fellow, Emad
> Burnat, who wanted to report what was happening to his village and the
> taking of the land. And it’s a testament to the  the Israelis who are
> supporting the people of Bil'in, that they got the wherewithal to make a
> world-class showing, of the standard of the Battle of Algiers, although this
> is a documentary, and Battle of Algiers was a staged recreation.
> The film interweaves this fellow Burnat's life and his family’s life and the
> story of his youngest child Gibreel over the five years of these
> demonstrations, what happens with this child-- the filming, the raids on the
> village, the Israelis' arrests of young boys. And all of this is interwoven
> into a story that is immensely powerful.
> I went to see the 6:30 show and Carl Schieren [of JVP] was there and he told
> me that one of the directors of the film would be at the following showing
> of the film, so we went and had dinner and came back. And Guy Davidi the
> Israeli director stood for a while and answered some questions. He said they
> wanted to show this in America even more than in Israel, because the US is
> so critical for what happens there. He said that when he came to make this
> film, he was dubious, because other films had been made about Budrus and
> Bil'in and other villages trying to stop confiscation of their lands. He
> thought, maybe I could find an angle that would be more interesting-- and
> the angle was the story of co-director Burnat, this man who was doing the
> filming and having his cameras destroyed by the Israeli military.
> I saw that the other director, Emad Burnat, will be coming to the Film Forum
> to answer questions on Sunday and Tuesday and I urge you to go.
> When I was calling around today, one friend asked Does the film humanize
> Arabs? Absolutely. Absolutely. It shows a village's commitment to a peaceful
> struggle and their family life. It shows their love for their children and
> their elderly and their grief at the dying of people in the demonstrations.
> All the things that make a human being human.
> Also, it dispels all the images that people use to promote Islamophobia. The
> wife of the main protagonist, she covers her hair-- and you see some Muslim
> funerals with the people carrying people martyred in demonstrations, and
> recitations of the Koran in the background-- but these things look perfectly
> normal. These look like what they are: the perfectly normal everyday life of
> a people.
> Another friend asked, Why did I go to the film in the first place? Well
> yesterday morning I saw the New York Times review of Five Broken Cameras in
> the arts section. And the essence of the review by A.O. Scott was, This is
> an intractable problem, there are no rights or wrongs here, it’s a tragedy.
> My first inclination was not to go see the movie on the basis of that
> review.
> Then I said, I'm going to go see it because the Times is so often wrong.
> Well I went to see it for myself, and I was just dumbstruck between the gap
> between what that review was and what that movie was about. When you see the
> film, you can see why they didn’t give it a good review, they don’t want to
> promote something as being sympathetic to the Palestinians

More information about the Marxism mailing list