By guest author Cindy Newman
People often ask “where is the Palestinian Gandhi”? Perhaps he is in Bil’in.
The film “5 Broken Cameras” is a story not often told, if at all, through corporate media.
Camera number one was acquired to chronicle the life of Gibril, the infant son of director Emad Burnat. Camera number one, and the other four cameras, follows the nonviolent struggle of the people of Bil’in against the apartheid wall, land confiscation, curfews and arbitrarily made “military zones” (which can sometimes be a Bil’iners home) of the Israeli Army.
Thankfully, cameras one through five survive long enough to show us the resilience, creativity, humor, and courage that generally make an audience root for the good guy.
The film shows images of Palestinians dancing and singing in the streets during curfew, only five feet away from the crush of an Israeli settler’s new trailer home; subsequent beatings; and a constant cloud of tear gas peppered with rubber bullets and live ammunition. Yet the people of Bil’in remain steadfast in their commitment to nonviolence.
“5 Broken Cameras” left me wondering who I am, what am I made of, and who do I want to be.
It clearly has this effect on others as well. Please watch the brief video showing the reactions of Israeli youth to “5 Broken Cameras.”
As explained on that webpage: “Engaging Israeli youth with this intimate, personal story of Palestinian nonviolent resistance offers a critical intervention before many of them find themselves stationed in a village like Bil’in, facing unarmed demonstrators. This generation offers a new opportunity for political change, in the face of diplomatic stalemate, growing extremism, and escalated settlement expansion.”
Cindy Newman, activist with the Israel Divestment campaign and BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) Los Angeles