Meet the Filmmakers
A lifelong inhabitant of the Palestinian village of Bil’in, Emad Burnat is a farmer and freelance cameraman. He has contributed to several documentaries, including Bil’in My Love, Palestine Kids, Open Close, and Interrupted Streams.
Born in Jaffa, Guy Davidi is a documentary filmmaker and teacher who has been directing, editing, and shooting films since the age of 16. His short documentaries include In Working Progress, Keywords, and Women Defying Barriers; his first feature film, Interrupted Streams, premiered in 2010 at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
When we started this project, we knew we would be criticized for working together. Emad would be asked why he chose to make the film with an Israeli, and Guy would be asked why he chose to make the film with a Palestinian. Still, the actual differences between us were something we could not avoid: we have different cultural backgrounds and different privileges, and we had to learn to use them in a constructive way. There are also different expectations for us as a result of our identities.
When we finally decided to make the film, we decided it had to be as intimate and personal as possible. That was the only way to tell the story in a new and emotional way. For Emad, this was not an obvious or simple decision. Exposure can be flattering, but it can also be risky. On the other hand, the film had be focused on Emad’s narrative, with Guy taking the role of storyteller.
We hope that people come to see the film with open minds and without foregone conclusions. When watching a film that deals with such a painful controversy, we know that people tend to shut down. Most of us divide the world into right and wrong, good and bad, Palestinian and Israeli. We immediately take a side that corresponds to our identity, life experience, or ideology, even though these loyalties prevent us from fully experiencing the world. Reality is wonderfully complex, and we become frustrated when people fight to look at it with only one or two filters.
5 Broken Cameras was made to inspire, and not just to be interpreted as part of the political discourse – although it is, of course, an important part of it. We made the film with sincere initiative, trying to challenge our own assumptions and avoid cliché. In the end, we hope everyone will come away with open hearts.