Five broken camerasUnknown - 2013 | Hebrew
From the critics
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The film is almost entirely in Arabic. Bonus material is in Hebrew and English.
We see here one man's wounds and joys, and his mental picture of his little corner in the world. We are missing the large scale such as the Oslo Accords of 1995, though. For unfathomable reasons, about half this village's olive grove was designated as being in Area C -- full Israeli military occupation (on an "interim basis"). The Israeli military built a security fence within Area C.
Neither cameraman Burnat nor Israeli co-director Davidi seems to be aware of how the Oslo Accords are part of the overarching structure of life in the Palestinian territories. Furthermore, virtually no viewer is aware of how land issues in former provinces of the Ottoman Empire (dead by defeat in WWI) are governed by the Ottoman Land Law of 1858 (eighteen fifty-eight!). The Crown owns all land (as it once had in Britain, for instance). The British inherited the role of Crown during the Mandate period, and the State of Israel and the incipient Palestine have inherited this law. When the Kingdom of Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank until 1967, they did not enact any land reform just as they hadn't in Jordan itself. The Ottoman law is the core structure of Israeli land law and the land law of the occupied territories. The Crown owns the land, and tax payments permit use of the land.
We Euro-Americans are not aware and little likely to understand how different this part of the world is from ours.
The determination by Israel's High Court of Justice in favor of the village was a hollow victory. The Israeli military built a wall adjacent to the Israeli new town. They tore down a barbed wire fence with a generally unmanned gate and built a wall with a guarded passage through this new barrier.
Beyond this, concerning peaceful demonstrations, who notices the absence of Palestinian civil police for crowd control? Palestinian police presence is also part of the Oslo Accords as a move toward independence. (By the way, the village of about 1,600 people doesn't have a police station, according to a Palestinian study as of 2012.) What Westerner would organize a protest -- actually any public event -- without crowd control by police?
Is hurling chunks of building concrete, rocks, and stones at a handful of young Israeli soldiers who are fulfilling their three years of mandatory military service called a nonviolent demonstration? What if they were police officers or National Guard members? What outcomes can be anticipated there or in the West?
Gandhi's and Dr. King's nonviolence generally consisted of symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation. Gullible Jimmy Carter, when visiting, doesn't see (or is protected from seeing) the typical weekly events.Western promoters of this film demonstrate a colonialist if not racist view of Palestinians. "We don't expect them to live in a twenty-first century civil society."
By the end if the film, cameraman and co-director Burnat describes power in the hands of villagers because they demonstrated.
Actually, the villagers emerge as powerless as before.
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