Israeli NGO asks for slander charges against defeated Oscar nominee

( The film “5 Broken Cameras,” which was criticized in the pro-Israel community for showing anti-Israel bias before falling short in the Best Documentary category at last month’s Academy Awards, is now facing legal challenges.

A poster for "5 Broken Cameras." Credit: Kino Lorber.

Consensus—an Israeli NGO comprised of hundreds of reserve and non-commissioned Israel Defense Forces officers described as “Guardians of the IDF spirit”—filed an official request with the Attorney General of Israel for “5 Broken Cameras” to face slander and incitement charges, Israel National News reported.

In the film, directors Guy Davidi and Emad Burnat cover Palestinian demonstrations to stop Israel’s construction of the security fence near the town of Bil’in. The film implies that Israel used excessive force to disperse such demonstrations, focusing on Burnat’s video cameras, which are repeatedly damaged as a result of those clashes.

Consensus, according to Israel National News, wrote to the attorney general that the film “was edited, clip after clip, shot after shot, to the point where it has no connection to reality.” 

“The essence of the movie and the main motif is presented through a long scene of scenes that were ‘pre-prepared’… in which soldiers are shown using [non-lethal] riot control measures (something that was not emphasized by the directors—which gives the false impression that the soldier is holding a live weapon) against protesters who are shown as not having provoked any response,” Consensus wrote.

The NGO pointed to the film’s “overlapping scenes with ‘soldiers’ attacks’” during which “‘peace-loving’ protesters are seen singing, hugging trees, extending an olive branch to the IDF soldiers and more.”

“We hope that the Attorney General will understand how severe the directors’ actions were, in editing the film with a clear agenda, and will decide to put them on trial for the serious incitement throughout the film,” the group wrote.

Consensus previously uploaded a response to “5 Broken Cameras” on YouTube. The clip, “5 Broken Cameras—The Real Story,” is an animated spoof of the Academy Awards ceremony and behind-the-scenes footage from the film.

Posted on March 13, 2013 .