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Broken Lives and Families in Bil'in

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Battleground Bil'in began decades ago. It continues daily. Villagers wanting to live free contest valiantly. They won't ever quit until their occupier is vanquished.

"5 Broken Cameras" documents what they endure daily. It's available in Arabic, English and Hebrew. It's 90 minutes long. Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi directed it. 

Many others were involved. They produced a visual real life account of how Palestinians suffer. On May 30, it opened in New York. Don't expect airings on late night TV. Elsewhere perhaps but not in America. Disturbing truths like Bil'in horrors are sanitized and/or suppressed.

Surprisingly The New York Times reviewed the documentary. It downplayed what it should have emphasized in great detail. It called the film "a grim reminder".of the bitter intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." It's a "chronicle of protest and endurance, punctuated by violence and glimmers of hope."

It's "necessary, if difficult, viewing." It's not neutral, and shouldn't be. It covers "Israel's controversial security fence."

It's not controversial. It's lawless. It's not for security. It's for land theft. It's not a fence. It's a monster wall eight meters high. It's twice the height of the Berlin Wall. It has watchtowers and a buffer zone 30 - 100 meters wide.

It's for electric fences, trenches, cameras, sensors, and military patrols. In other places, it consists of layers of fencing and razor wire, military patrol roads, sand paths to trace footprints, ditches, and surveillance cameras.

Homes, communities, and villages in its path are destroyed. Other areas are surrounded and suffocated. Land between it and the Green Line is called a "seam zone." 

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Residents and landowners in it must obtain permit approval to remain in their homes on their land. Maybe Israel one day will require permission to breathe in and out. Failure to comply may subject violators to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment. Israeli ruthlessness shows no mercy.

The Times called the film "advocacy journalism." Perhaps so for producers wanting hard truths told. The review downplayed its cutting-edge importance. It also said it's "a visual essay in autobiography and, as such, a modest, rigorous and moving work of art."

It's purpose isn't art. It's vital truth telling and full disclosure. Times writers know little about that. Its articles, op-eds, editorials and reviews prohibit revealing what's most important for readers to know.

Reviewer AO Scott said villagers organized weekly protests. They're outraged about losing their homes and land. What's portrayed is "poignant and intimate."

The film "deserves to be appreciated for (its) lyrical delicacy (and) precision"." Scott referred to a longstanding "political crisis" without explaining it. 

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What he omitted says more than he revealed. He left out what's most important. What else would you expect from a broadsheet scorning truth and full disclosure.

On October 5, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy began where he left off. He headlined "The Documentary that should make every decent Israeli ashamed," saying:

Burnat and Davidi produced a riveting documentary. They chronicled what all Palestinians face. Soldiers arrive late at night. 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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