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School of Politics and International Relations

Middle East Movie Night 1: 5 Broken Cameras

16 October 2013

Time: 6:00 - 9:00pm
Venue: The Hitchcock Cinema, ArtsOne Room, G.19

Filmed from the perspective of a Palestinian farm laborer (Emad Burnat), 5 Broken Cameras was shot using six different video cameras five of which were destroyed in the process of documenting Emad’s family’s life as well as Palestinian and International resistance to Israeli appropriation of land and occupation. Emad, who lives in Bil'in, just west of the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, was thrust into global politics when his community peacefully resisted Israeli plans to erect a wall through their land to separate them from the ever growing Israeli settlements. Initially given the camera to chronicle the birth and childhood of his son Gibreel, the film captures Gibreel growing into a precocious preschooler against the backdrop of the many non-violent protests that have become an intrinsic part of life in Bil'in.

With hundreds of hours of video footage covering a period of over six years, Emad started working with Israeli activist and filmmaker Guy Davidi to produce a film. Guy helped shape the material and compose a commentary for the film. Together, they have turned 5 Broken Cameras into a larger-than-life lyrical device that both informs and structures their personal and collective struggles in the West Bank.

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Middle East Movie Nights offer students and other members of the university the chance to learn more about the region, its society and politics, through the medium of film. Many countries in the Middle East boast rich and diverse cinema industries with film makers willing to tackle controversial topics often ignored or side-lined by politicians and public figures. Through a series of films shown during the 2013-14 academic year key issues that affect the region today will be explored, including women’s rights, political Islam, revolution, sexuality, nationalism, poverty and class. With movies from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Iran, among others, this series aims to both educate and entertain in equal measure.

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