Five Broken Cameras: A Review

Autor: Gustavo Oliveira


The documentary “Five Broken Cameras” was filmed in 2011 and it’s based on true events which happened in 2005. It tells the story of the farmer Emad Burnat who bought a camera to film his fourth son, Gabreel. The farmer lives in Bil’in, a small village located on the West Bank, considered Palestinian territory. At the same time that his son is growing up, the Israeli Army (IDF) decides to build a wall to demark Jewish lands and, unfortunately, the place where the wall is going to be built might take some of Emad’s lands. The camera he bought and four others are used to film, instead of his son, the resistance of his people against the army.

“Five Broken Cameras” was nominated for an Oscar for best long documentary, the World Cinema Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Festival, and all the charaters are represented by their real person. The firm is really well made and shocking, in the way that it represents, in a realistic way, the violence that happens in the regions of Israel-Palestine. The way Emad tells the story and how he relates how each camera was broken in violent ways by the army makes the film a must-watch, as it is touching and has deep social causes, showing anyone who’s interested some stories about the people who live like him. Anyway, a negative part of the documentary is the feeling that only one side of the story in being told, since there are no testimonies from anyone from the army, which could be shown, even if they had non-humanitarian reasons to do what they did.


Anglo Blog Post: May, 2018


Few years have proved as pivotal as 1968, where social upheavals, colonial wars and assassinations of important public figures rollicked societies across the globe. Its ramifications can still be felt today.


1968 – The Year that Changed the World

The United States was mired in the Vietnam War and the unwinnable nature of the conflict for the Americans became more evident after the launching of the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese. The campaign initiated on the Vietnamese New Year (Tet) was the beginning of the end for US forces there, which eventually were expelled in 1975.

The US was further roiled by civil unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King, and riots broke out in cities including Detroit, Washington, Chicago and Baltimore. The violent death of the non-violent activist had a smothering effect on idealism and the idea that society could be changed peacefully.

Students in Pairs, reacting to the stifling conservatism of French society overseen by the imperious Charles De Gaulle, protested on the streets in May, and ushered in new paradigms for ideas and behaviors. Behind the Iron Curtain, there was open revolt against Communist Party rule when in Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubcek ushered in an era known as Communism with a Human Face. During this brief period, freedoms were decreed and reforms enacted, all challenging the homogenous role of the Communist Party. Moscow’s patience ran out and the Warsaw Pact invaded with 700,000 troops, brutally ending this flirtation with western ideas of democracy. This Prague Spring was short-lived.

Another high profile assassination in the US rocked the political scene when Robert F. Kennedy, John Kennedy’s younger brother, was killed after delivering a campaign speech for his presidential run. Kennedy had declared himself committed to pulling US troops out of Vietnam and promised to enact a progressive agenda. Richard Nixon eventually became president, a dour man who catered to a “silent majority” averse to the social changes sweeping the US.

Societal convulsions were not limited to Europe and North America. In Latin America, progressive forces inspired by the Cuban and sexual revolutions, were challenging the conservative establishment and suffering severe reprisals for that.

In Mexico, just ten days before the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, the authorities gunned down over 300 young people protesting in the streets, in an event known as Tlatelolco Massacre. In Brazil, after the Passeata of 100,000 people march, the military junta adopted A-I 5, essentially denying any rights to those opposed to the dictatorship. The “years of lead” unfolded as one of the most violent and ominous periods of 24-year-old reign of oppression by the Brazilian military.

Some of the idealism of that post-World War Two generation has permeated the societies where already established democracies enacted much needed reforms and countries under dictatorship became working democracies. Yet the year 1968 leaves a lot of what ifs. What if Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had lived, what if the US had left Vietnam when the writing was on the wall; what if the military regime in Brazil had been toppled at the time; what if the cracks in repressive communism had preempted its downfall earlier.

The world would likely be a different place.