Last of the Summer’s Clark Park Film Series: “5 Broken Cameras,” a Protest in Palestine

Tonight at 7:30 in Clark Park the Philadelphia International Action Center will show the film 5 Broken Cameras, a documentary of protests in Bil’in, a Palestinian town that abuts the Israeli West Bank barrier. I have not seen the film but will tonight, it’s free, and the subject matter is timely.

Image from the film "5 Broken Cameras."

Image from the film “5 Broken Cameras.”

5 Broken Cameras is co-directed by Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli Guy Davidi,  it’s showing tonight at Clark Park at 45th and Regent Streets at 7:30 PM.  Ol’ Wikipedia has a synopsis for you:

 There are five cameras — each with its own story. When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born in 2005, self-taught cameraman Emad Burnat, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. At the same time in his village of Bil’in, the Israelis begin bulldozing village olive groves to build a barrier to separate Bil’in from the Jewish Settlement Modi’in Illit. The barrier’s route cuts off 60% of Bil’in farmland and the villagers resist this seizure of more of their land by the settlers.

During the next year, Burnat films this struggle, which is led by two of his best friends, while at the same time recording the growth of his son. Very soon, these events begin to affect his family and his own life. Emad films the Army and Police beating and arresting villagers and activists who come to support them. Settlers destroy Palestinian olive trees and attack Burnat when he tries to film them. The Army raids the village in the middle of the night to arrest children. He, his friends, and brothers are arrested or shot; some are killed. Each camera used to document these events is shot or smashed.

Eventually, in 2009, Burnat approaches Guy David– an Israeli filmmaker and together, from these five broken cameras and the stories that they represent, these two filmmakers create the film.

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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