SJP shows documentary ‘Five Broken Cameras’

by Erik Cliburn | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

The on-campus organization Students for Justice in Palestine hosted a viewing of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Five Broken Cameras” on Jan. 21. The film follows cameraman Emad Burnat through his village’s struggle with Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory.

The audience was told that Burnat’s documentary perfectly captures the essence of the frustration and fear of the people of the small village Bil’in.

Local activist  Timothy King  attended the event and had a session for follow-up questions about the film and the struggle in the Middle East between Palestine and Israel.

Before the event, junior Ahmed Mitiche, a double major in philosophy and sociology and president of SJP, said, “It’s not a question of Palestine per se. It’s a matter of social justice. But we know that the Palestinian situation is one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world today.”

King has been to Palestine three times to peacefully protest and is very well informed about the struggle of the people of Palestine.

According to SJP, the purpose of the movie “Five Broken Cameras” is to show the world that all resistance in Palestine is not violent towards Israel. According to the documentary, most protests and resistances are nonviolent towards the Israeli army.

The title of this movie is explained in its opening scenes. Emad Burnat shows the five cameras that he had that were broken by the Israeli armed forces. The five cameras are symbolic of his personal struggle during the resistance movement, each camera more resilient than the last. The film brings light to a situation that many in the United States know little about. King alluded to the fact that Israel practically has immunity in the United Nations because of the United States’ position as one of the five countries with vetoing power.

Allison Koester, vice president of SJP,  commented on the portrayal of the Palestinian.

“For a very long time, the media was very biased towards Israel, and they kind of twisted it to make it look like good versus evil, and really there are two sides to every story,” she said. “There are obviously going to be radicals on both sides, and there are people who want peace on both sides. And it seemed like everyone here was paying attention and not texting, so I think that speaks volumes.”

King’s discussion totaled more than 20 minutes after the showing of “Five Broken Cameras.”

“It’s amazing how the Israelis treat the Palestinians and how America still backs them [Israel],” said freshman  political science and international relations double major Tyler Knierim. “Even though Israel is the democratic state that is in the Middle East, I still think the Palestinians are right and the Israelis should not have just pushed them out of their territory.”

The showing of “Five Broken Cameras” had a turnout of 55 people.

Mitiche closed the event with thanks to the audience.

“You shouldn’t jump to a conclusion on such a heavy topic based on a little bit of information,” he said. “So we invite you to become involved with Students for Justice in Palestine.”

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