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Sundance filmmakers make time to challenge high school students with thought-provoking questions

by Jamshid Ghazi Askar.

On the ninth day of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, “5 Broken Cameras” co-directors Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi ascend to the stage in a downtown theater that echoes yesteryear with a low-hanging balcony and loud paisleys dotting the plush red carpeting. More than 400 high school students sit in uncharacteristic silence, eagerly absorbing every word emerging from the men’s mouths.

Sundance is the largest independent film festival in the United States. And as the 2012 event draws to a close, Burnat and Davidi stand on the cusp of fame. The very next night the men will win Sundance’s World Cinema Directing Award for documentaries, and “5 Broken Cameras” is playing to rave reviews as it takes viewers to the front lines of a Palestinian village’s peaceful resistance against the forceful Israeli seizure of ancestral farming land in order to build new Jewish settlements.

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