War Photographer

Christian Frei | 96 minutes | Suissimage | <a href="http://www.war-photographer.com/" target="new">Trailer</a>

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If war is hell, is war photography a kind of sympathy for the devil? Can a man who depends on death for his livelihood also be a humanitarian? This Oscar-nominated portrait of one of the world’s most famous war photographers, James Nachtwey, dances around such questions, even as it accepts the American photographer’s view of himself as an antiwar photographer. Nachtwey has risked his life covering the major conflicts of the past two decades, including Rwanda, Bosnia, and El Salvador. He’s also a dedicated mass-market photographer whose commitment to his craft hinges on a faith in photography’s power to move not just the committed activist, but also the casual newsweekly subscriber.

Filmmaker Christian Frei provides only basic biographical details about his subject and declines to speculate on the sources of Nachtwey’s ambition. This sacrifice of context in exchange for you are there! immediacy — a miniature camcorder strapped atop Nachtwey’s Canon in the West Bank provides harrowing footage — is what makes War Photographer at once a frustrating and brilliant documentary.

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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