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Harrison Lloyd is a Pulitzer-winning photojournalist. His wife and family are making it hard for him to keep his mind on his work when he's in a war zone, and he wants to change jobs to something less stressful. But he's got one last assignment, in war-torn Yugoslavia, in 1991, at the height of the fighting. Word comes back that he apparently died in a building collapse, but his wife Sarah (also a journalist for Newsweek) refuses to believe that he's dead and goes looking for him. She's helped immensely by the photo-journalists Eric Kyle and Marc Stevenson that she runs into over there; together, they're determined to make it through the chaotic landscape to Vukovar, which is not only the nexus of the war but where she believes Harrison is located. Meanwhile, Harrison's son Cesar is looking after his father's prized greenhouse, keeping hope, and flowers, alive. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
Harrison's Flowers is a journey into a journalist's personal hell. While some may feel that the premise of the story is rather lame and confabulated, it serves a purpose. To show the human side of the photo journalists who bring the horrors of the world to those of us who, as they noted in the movie, are just worried about getting a parking ticket.
Too often when we non-journalists see photos of war zones we are horrified and, at the same time, we are dumbfounded as to how someone could be so inhuman and unfeeling as to photograph such graphic examples of man's inhumanity to man. Harrison's Flowers is excellent at showing us that just as a reader we can't stop looking at the horror even though we are revolted, the journalist cannot stop photographing and documenting it even though the human side of them is revolted as well.
As for Andie MacDowell's so-called wooden performance, one must remember that in this film she is seeing her husband's and his colleagues' world through their eyes for the first time. How quickly would any of us be able to break out of our shock-like trance and be totally outraged or emotional if this were the first time we were seeing it? Even the veteran photo journalist portrayed by Brendan Gleeson was paralyzed with shock more than once in the film. Andie MacDowell's character came from such an insulated world that seemingly emotionless shock was the perfect way to portray Sarah, who simply cannot fathom what she sees unfolding around her.
Harrison's Flowers is an excellent portrayal of the Serbo-Croatian hell that descended upon that part of Europe and irreparably tore apart the life of anyone in its path.
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