Monday, December 28, 2009

War Photographer

Christian Frei, Switzerland, 2001 (9.4*)

[Partially in English, partially sub-titled]

As a photographer and visual artist myself, I've always admired those willing to risk their lives just to give the world photographs of war and other human tragedies as they occur, all on display here such as extreme poverty and starvation (Africa), hazardous working conditions (Indonesian sulphur mines), and war itself (Palestine). This story is a biography of photojournalist James Nachtwey, often called the 'greatest war photographer of all time'. As one who survived to see gray hair, he's had a longetivity that few others achieve, as most don't live to see 50.

This is a great story of a great artist and humanitarian, a film which will have difficult images to bear, but one which we owe ourselves as fellow human beings to bear witness to and never forget the injustices which our fellow humans can inflict on the innocent. This is the goal of war correspondents and other journalists, and is certainly the 'raison d'etre' of James Nachtwey. Hats off for the documentary filmmakers who followed Nachtwey on his assignments, often into the heat of battle itself. This is one of the most important political and humanitarian statements ever captured on film.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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