An extraordinary work of both cinematic and political activism, the film was shot almost entirely by Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son - and was quickly thrust into global politics when he recorded his neighbors peacefully resisting Israeli plans to erect a wall through their village.
With hundreds of hours of video footage covering a period of five years, co-directors Guy Davidi and Emad Burnat assembled the film into a larger-than-life narrative depicting personal and collective struggles, as well as tragedy and destruction, in the West Bank - turning the film into a worldwide phenomenon.
Here's the New York Times review:
“5 Broken Cameras” provides a grim reminder — just in case you needed one — of the bitter intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A chronicle of protest and endurance, punctuated by violence and tiny glimmers of hope, this documentary is unlikely to persuade anyone with a hardened view of the issue to think again. For anyone who retains an interest in the human contours of the situation, however, the movie is necessary, if difficult, viewing.
And the Hollywood Reporter:
The focus on Gibreel anchors the film, but Burnat and his filmmaking partner Guy Davidi (an Israeli) use another conceit to give the film chronological structure. As the title suggests, it was made largely with five cameras that were much abused as Burnat struggled to film protests and everyday friction. Numerous times, his cameras were broken by bullets; on one occasion, the filmmaker believes a bullet lodged in his camera would otherwise have killed him.