Cultural Consumption Tasks 1 and 7

1 – Watch a subtitled film
7 – Discuss a documentary

5 Broken Cameras by Guy Davidi and Emad Burnat

This morning, in our free Wednesday session, a few of us Vis-Com’ers and myself watched this home made documentary by a Palestinian villager, Emad, about the West Bank. Julia had suggested we watched it with her, having recently visited Israel, and whilst there experienced first hand some of the atrocious goings on between the Israeli Jews, and the Palestinians.

The film documents the struggle between the Palestinian village of Bi’lin and the Israeli armed forces, who have taken their land, and have fenced it off from them to house Jewish settlers. Emad begins to document the village’s experiences because is known as the village cameraman, but as the situation escalates, Emad becomes so emotionally involved in the conflict, losing his best friend who was shot by the forces. Eventually the filming becomes his way of coping with the horrendous occurrences.

An eye opening piece of film, it shows the contrast between the villagers peaceful protest, and the unjust violence that ensues. I was appalled by the footage; with peaceful villagers being shot at, and children dragged from their homes to be tortured in prisons.

After watching the film, we discussed for some time the situation in Palestine, and Julia shared some particularly disturbing but true stories from her time over there. This led us to discuss how much of this is hidden from us by the media, due to the fact that Obama currently funds Israel to engage in such conflict.

We also discussed how religion can be so damaging, in the way it drives people to commit such horrific acts. How can someone do some of these things and claim it is in the name of God? Many people choose only to refer to scriptures when it suits them; certain aspects of the bible have been removed hundreds of years ago, yet some verses are quoted today as justification for murdering others.

We all had a lot to say about this, coming from different backgrounds, and holding different beliefs, however we all agreed that religion seems to lead people to do very unloving things to one another, simply because of differences in faith. We need to interpret the underlying values of religion which tell us to love one another, rather than take religious documents word for word.

Having this discussion was really interesting, and we decided to create a Facebook group where we could share information about situations that are not so well reported in the media, and discuss it with one another. The group of us have also decided to get together more regularly to watch documentaries, as we found it useful being able to share opinions afterwards, allowing us to engage what we experience into our lives more so than if we simply watched it alone.

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