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Palestinian documentary nominated for Oscar

Jan. 12, 2013 4:58 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2013 3:22 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian documentary portraying the popular struggle against Israel's separation wall has been nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Documentary Film.

The film, 'Five Broken Cameras,' tells the story of non-violent resistance in the village of Bilin, as told through the experience of villager Emad Burnat, who filmed the majority of the documentary.

"I started documenting what happens in Bilin from Israeli violations and raids to protests held by the residents as a way to expose the Israeli practices against Palestinians," Burnat told official news agency WAFA.

"I later decided that I want to make a movie that tells the story of Bilin through authentic Palestinian voices," he added.

Burnat said he asked Israeli co-director Guy Davidi, who used to participate in protests in the village, to help him with the film.

The entire documentary was shot in and around Bilin in 2005 and presents the stories of Burnat, the life of his son, who was born with the beginning of the nonviolent resistance movement in the village, and other outstanding figures and friends in the village.

When asked about Israeli media referring to the movie as an Israeli film, he said that the film is 100 percent Palestinian, made by a Palestinian director and tells the story of the Palestinians of Bilin.

"I don’t think the help of an Israeli director has affected the movie in the least since I am well aware of Davidi’s position regarding the conflict," Burnat added.

On his Facebook page, Davidi said the Oscar nomination was both a day of "joy and sadness," referring to the reactions from both sides concerning the Israeli-Palestinian partnership behind the film.

"There is a nonviolent struggle that faces challenges not only from the Israeli occupation but also from within, and the portrayal of partnership with Israelis is a complex challenge," Davidi wrote on his Facebook page, according to the Electronic Intifada website.

The title of the documentary refers to the five cameras that were smashed by Israeli soldiers while recording the struggle and steadfastness of the people of Bilin.

The nominations were announced on Thursday and the Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the end of February.
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