When Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat bought a video camera in 2005, it was to film his newborn son. Around the same time, the Israelis began building a ‘security fence’ in his village – supposedly to stop suicide bombers, but also to cordon off land from the village to build Israeli houses. The villagers started a peaceful protest against the bulldozers. Every week, after Friday prayers at the mosque, they marched to the fence brandishing olive branches. And Burnat became their unofficial cameraman. He’s edited five years of footage into this documentary – a tough watch that’ll leave you despairing of peace anytime soon. No, it’s not balanced. This is one man in one Palestinian village watching his son take his first steps and observing his friends protest – and die. But it is incredibly moving (his son’s early words include ‘army’ and ‘cartridge’), and it cuts through the them-and-us politics of the conflict to the struggles of daily life.
Friday October 19 2012
Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi