'The Gatekeepers' and '5 Broken Cameras' Makers Claim Win Despite Oscars Shut-Out

1 Dedicates Film to Yitzhak Rabin, Other to West Bank Village

Mixed Emotions: Guy Davidi, co-director of ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ said he was relieved that the Oscars were over. But Dror Moreh, maker of ‘The Gatekeepers,’ admitted being disappointed.
getty images
Mixed Emotions: Guy Davidi, co-director of ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ said he was relieved that the Oscars were over. But Dror Moreh, maker of ‘The Gatekeepers,’ admitted being disappointed.

By Nathan Guttman

Published February 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Two documentary films from Israel were passed over for Oscars at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony held last night in Hollywood.

But the makers of “5 Broken Cameras,” which depicts the hardship of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation, and “The Gatekeepers, which criticizes leaders in Jerusalem for lack of action to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, both declared victory of a sort.

“I wasn’t disappointed,” said Guy Davidi, co-director of “Five Broken Cameras,” as he entered his Los Angeles hotel late on Sunday. The Israeli filmmaker said he felt “really happy” when the envelope was opened and his movie was not announced as the winner. “We went through a long and exhausting process and it took its toll … On the personal level, I feel it is good now to take a break.”

Davidi and Palestinian co-director Emad Burnat posted a reaction on Twitter for supporters of the movie: “Although we did not win the Oscar, we have shown the Palestinian non-violent struggle for freedom to the world. This is most important!”

In a later tweet, Burnat turned to his fellow residents of Bilin, the West Bank village where the film takes place, telling them: “The world knows our voice and our struggle now.”

Dror Moreh
getty images
Dror Moreh

Dror Moreh, director of “The Gatekeepers,” was willing to admit his disappointment with the outcome. He told reporters after the ceremony that he had prepared a speech, just in case the movie won. In his speech, said Moreh, he intended to dedicate the award to the memory of the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered when trying to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

“He lost his life because he dared to dream of peace,” Moreh said, “and that is why I wanted to dedicate the prize to him.” The Israeli director added that recent events in the occupied territories, where protests have been on the rise following the death of a Palestinian detainee in an Israeli prison, demonstrated the dangers his film points out.

“It looks as if we might be on the verge of a third intifada and that shows us again that the conflict is alive and kicking even if people try to ignore it,” he said.

The films tell the story of Israeli occupation from different angles, though both lead to a similar damning image of Israel’s policy in the West Bank.

In the end, the golden statue went to neither one. Instead, the Oscar went to “Searching for Sugar Man” which tells the improbable story of an obscure American musician who became widely popular in South Africa.

On a lighter note, there was still a Jewish moment at the Oscars, even without an Israeli filmmaker called to get the prize on stage. Last night this moment came from Ted, the rude teddy bear voiced by Oscar host Seth McFarlane.

Speaking to actor Mark Wahlberg, when the actor and the puppet were called to present the award for sound mixing, Ted turned to Wahlberg asking if he is Jewish making clear that everyone is at least half-Jewish in this business.

“I was born Theodore Shapiro,” Ted the puppet confessed, “and I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.