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The Marines of Echo Company
When his fourth son, Gibreel, is born, Emad, a Palestinian villager, gets his first camera. In his village, Bil'in, a separation barrier is being built and the villagers start to resist this decision. For more than five years, Emad films the struggle, which is led by two of his best friends, alongside filming how Gibreel grows. Very soon it affects his family and his own life. Daily arrests and night raids scare his family; his friends, brothers and himself are either shot or arrested. One camera after another is shot at or smashed. Each of the 5 cameras tells part of his story. Written by
Emad Burnat - Narrator:
Healing is a challenge in life. It's a victim sole obligation. By healing, you resist oppression. But when I'm hurt over and over again, I forget the wounds that rule my life. Forgotten wounds can't be healed. So I film to heal. I know they may knock at my door at any moment. But I'll just keep filming. It helps me confront life. And survive.
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Rarely has a film so thoughtfully threaded a path through a conflict. The story begins with the families involved and the disparity in power is portrayed. Quickly one perches alongside the cameraman as he captures subtle moments that embody the villagers connection to their land. The cast members are woven into the story where unquestioned armed power, meets determined, non-violent resistance. The inner struggle of each member of the cast is nuanced and reveals by turn, as they step out and find voice to speak for just, and fair treatment. There are moments too, of unexpected beauty, respite for the injuries that seem never to cease. The film is to render a story, out-of-time in character. May you find it worth viewing, I have recommended it to the artists in my community.
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