More Broken Hearts than Cameras

by Ncama1 on November 18, 2013 - 11:05pm

Social issues are a problem all over the world no matter where you are. When two cultures collide social issues because one culture feels like its society values are being threatened. In the film 5 Broken Cameras directed by Emad Burnat (2011), displays the disagreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, over the construction of a fence on the Palestinian’s land. Emad’s camera provides viewers to see the social issue through the lens that lies between the two groups. The problem is that in his village of Bil’in, the Israelis egin bulldozing village olive groves to try and build a barrier which cuts off 60 percent of Bil’in farmland to separate Bil'in from the Jewish Settlement so it is easier for Israeli settlers to build houses. The public supports the fence but the Palestinians do not accept the fence so the Palestinians use a nonviolent protest to try to say no to the fence. Emad makes sure that everyone knows that no matter how violent the Israeli military is that they will stay with protesting nonviolently this shows that the Palestinians have a lot of moral character. One of the protests they did was place a trailer on their land and lock themselves in it. The Israeli army on the other hand uses a different approach such as multiple violent attacks for no reason by using tear gas and guns to control the nonviolent protesting Palestinians. In one scene the Israeli military shot and killed Bassem Abu-Rahma (Phil) a popular guy in the community for no reason but defending his rights.  Gibreel asks his father why they don’t kill the guys who shot Phil, and Emad responds with “you cannot use violence to fight back because violence is not the answer.”

Patriotism is demonstrated in the film 5 Cameras. Patriotism is love of a country and willingness to sacrifice for it. Emad and Phil show a strong sense of patriotism with the defense of their homeland through protesting. Patriotism in the film gets people including Phil seriously injured and killed by soldiers to save their land. Emad’s friend Adeeb expresses his feelings to the Israeli soldiers asking them if their commander has a heart. Phil stands strong in his pride and patriotism and says “We were born on this land and we will die here!” When Phil dies, the Palestinian people protest to the soldiers saying they aren’t scared to die and show them that by putting up posters of Phil around the town. After Phil dies the citizens realize how much trouble the soldiers are causing for nothing and are very upset and angry and one of the protestors even lay on the ground and told the soldiers to shoot him because he said he wants to “die for his land.”

Norms that specify appropriate ways to express internal sensations are Feeling Rules. Social issue depicts several examples of feeling rules. One example is when the children kiss the picture of Phil who passed away, this is an expression of dealing with a loss of someone who is cared about a lot. The kids use Phil’s picture as a mask, they put flowers on his body, and they kiss his pictures to say good-bye. This is acceptable in their culture to where as in American culture it is not acceptable to kiss pictures and say goodbye or using his face for a mask it would be foreign. When Gibreel first learns how to talk the first words they are centered on what’s going on around him, the war and the protest which would happen in Palestinians culture because they want to expose their children in young ages where in other cultures the first words of a child will be “Baba, mama, or daddy.” Also several times in the film, men wrap their arms around each other. In their culture, this is an acceptable way to express friendship or greet each other, whereas this might not be acceptable in other cultures.

Throughout the film the displays of the social issue between the two groups in-group/out-group reveals a lot of information about the Palestinian’s culture. An In-group is a group that a person belongs to and identifies. An out-group is any group to which a person belongs. In the case of the film, the Israelis are considered the in-group and the Palestinians are the out-group because they are the minority because they are out-ruled by power. These in-group, out-group dynamics cause the Palestinians and Israeli military to clash and show their true identities.


Reference: Burnat, E. (Director), & Davidi, G. (Director). (2011). 5 Broken Cameras [Documentary]. Algeria Productions.

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