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Arts and Entertainment

Michael Moore Intervenes To Help Oscar-Nominated Palestinian Filmmaker Detained At LAX

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Thanks to immigration officials at LAX, the Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat could have missed the Oscars ceremony where his film "5 Broken Cameras" is nominated for the best documentary. Burnat feared deportation, but he was able to stay in Los Angeles for the next week with some help from the Academy's legal team and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Burnat, his wife and son are in town for the Oscars this weekend, but they were detained for 1.5 hours at LAX upon their arrival yesterday, his representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Burnat produced an invite from the Oscars but that didn't seem to sway officials.

"5 Broken Cameras" collaborated with Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi to create a documentary whose images were culled from 5 years of footage from the titular digital cameras. The New York Times describes how the film came to be this way:


Mr. Burnat, a Palestinian farmer in the tiny town of Bilin, was given his first camera in 2005, when his youngest son, Gibreel, was born. Almost simultaneously, the Israeli Army began building a barrier between Bilin and a nearby Jewish settlement. The residents of Bilin, outraged as their olive groves were bulldozed by the military and burned by settlers, organized weekly protests, attended by left-wing Israelis and sympathizers from other countries. In 2007 the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the barrier rerouted, and four years later, after village access to some of the land was restored, the demonstrations were called off. Mr. Burnat’s was not the only camera present at these protests, but the footage he shot, which is accompanied by after-the-fact voice-over narration and part of a video diary of his daily life, is especially poignant and intimate.

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Moore has been a big supporter of the film, and he tweeted about incident last night: