Palestinian-Israeli Documentary Wins Jury Prize at International Festival

5 Broken Cameras wins Special Jury award, the second-most prestigious prize handed out at the festival, which closed on Sunday in Amsterdam.

The film, "5 Broken Cameras," directed by Palestinian cameraman Emad Burnat and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, captured two awards on Sunday at the world's largest feature-length documentary film festival, the IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam ), coming away with the Special Jury and Audience Award.

The Special Jury award is the second-most prestigious prize handed out at the festival, which closed on Sunday in the Dutch city.

Emad Bornat and Guy Davidi
Nir Kafri

"5 Broken Cameras," made in cooperation with the Channel 8 television station and the New Fund for Cinema and Television, is a joint Palestinian-Israeli-Dutch-French production that presents the story of Burnat, a resident of the West Bank village of Bil'in. Over a period of more than six years, Burnat documented the struggle against the occupation waged by two of his good friends, while also filming his son growing up.

The struggle soon begins to influence Burnat's life as well as that of his family. Daytime arrests and nighttime raids strike fear into the family; his friends and brothers are arrested, injured by gunfire or taken into custody and imprisoned. Camera after camera is destroyed or shot up, and each one symbolizes a chapter in his life.

"The film that documentarian Guy Davidi assembled from Burnat's visceral footage provides an unusually immediate and personal view of the Israel-Palestine conflict," the festival jury wrote about the film.

"Each of Burnat's broken cameras shows the scars of aggression and attests to the importance of bearing witness to oppression. His compulsive filming is, as he says, a defense and a way of healing, but it is also a form of resistance."