The light of truth in a dark world

5 Jul 2017

Tonight a group from Exchange, the 'young adults' group at Bloomsbury, went to Union Chapel to see a screening of the film 'Five Broken Cameras', followed by an interview with the director Enad Burnat.

Enad is a Palestinian peasant, whose village was caught up in the Israeli expansion and 'settlement' program. He made the film from the footage he took over a five year period, which coincided with the first five years of his youngest son's life. He had bought his first camera to film his new baby son, and then the violence started around him.

You need to see this film, so I won't tell you the story here.

But Enad's commitment to nonviolent resistance to oppression in the face of overwhelming violence and suppression, and at great personal cost, is deeply moving and profoundly challenging.


The privilege of hearing Enad speak in person, having just seen his footage and his film, was a great privilege. He spoke about how he worked with an editor to reduce 700 hours of footage to a 1 1/2 hour film, and of how he never even wanted to be a film maker, but found that it was the only thing he could do to bring meaning to the suffering of his people - to tell their story.

The act of telling this story goes some way to restoring the agency of those who have been victimised - ensuring their lives are not lost to the world.

Six years on from the events in the film, it has now been seen by millions of people, and has played a not insignificant role in changing public opinion about the Palestinian situation. But Enad told us that 'on the ground' very little is different.

Bloomsbury has a long tradition of standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people - whether they be Muslim or Christian, and we have previously hosted events and welcomed speakers from the Amos Trust, the Holy Land Trust, and we have had church members volunteer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. We have also faced opposition for this solidarity.

Standing with the vulnerable and oppressed is never easy, and never without cost: physically, emotionally, financially. But it is also the path of Christ, who inspires us to face the darkness, and to shine a light.

Tonight the flickering of a projector in a dark and hot room shone the light of truth into our hearts and minds, and that which has been lit by truth cannot easily be extinguished. 

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