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War Photographer
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War Photographer (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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War Photographer -- US Theatrical Trailer from First Run


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Release Date:
2001 (USA) See more »
Documentary about war photographer James Nachtwey, considered by many the greatest war photographer ever. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
video killed the photographer star? See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Nachtwey ... Photographer

Christiane Amanpour ... Chief International Correspondent CNN
Hans-Hermann Klare ... Foreign Editor STERN Magazine
Christiane Breustedt ... Editor in Chief GEO SAISON Magazine
Des Wright ... Cameraman REUTERS
Denis O'Neill ... Screenwriter / Jim's Best Friend

Directed by
Christian Frei 
Produced by
Christian Frei .... producer
Madeleine Hirsiger .... co-producer: Schweizer Fernsehen DRS
Paul Riniker .... co-producer: Schweizer Fernsehen DRS
Osnat Trabelsi .... line producer: Palestine
Original Music by
David Darling 
Eleni Karaindrou 
Arvo Pärt 
Cinematography by
Peter Indergand 
James Nachtwey 
Film Editing by
Christian Frei 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Barbara Miller .... assistant director (as Barbara Müller)
Sound Department
Florian Eidenbenz .... sound editor: Mangetix Strudios
Florian Eidenbenz .... sound mixer: Magnetix Studios
Ingrid Städeli .... sound: Hamburg
Martin Witz .... sound: New York
Visual Effects by
Patrick Lindenmaier .... microcam builder: Swiss Effects
Gerald Mücke .... microcam builder: Swiss Effects
Walter Naf .... microcam builder: Swiss Effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Burrows .... additional still photographer: Vietnam
Patrick Chauvel .... video footage: South Africa, CNN
Christian Frei .... betacam cinematographer: Sulfur Mine
Don McCullin .... additional still photographer: Vietnam
James Nachtwey .... still photographer
Juda Ngwenya .... additional still photographer: South Africa
Hanna Abu Saada .... cinematographer: DV-camera, Palestine
David Turnley .... additional still photographer: South Africa
Huynh Cong 'Nick' Ut .... additional still photographer: Vietnam
Editorial Department
Jolanda Cerutti .... post-production coordinator
Christian Frei .... off-line editor
Daniel Gibel .... off-line editing supervisor
Ruth Kågi .... color grader
Ian Mathys .... on-line editor
Barbara Miller .... assistant editor (as Barbara Müller)
Barbara Miller .... off-line editor (as Barbara Müller)
Yvonne Steiner .... negative cutter
Eric Vander Borght .... off-line editing supervisor
Music Department
Manfred Eicher .... music consultant
Manfred Eicher .... music producer
Transportation Department
Ripto Mulyono .... driver: Jakarta
Surip Sumarsono .... driver: Jakarta
Heri Yanto .... driver: Jakarta
Dwi Abi Yantoro .... driver: Jakarta
Other crew
Christin Gerber .... web site designer
Claudia Gutknecht .... representative: digita;l dbetacam equipment, Schweizer AG
Mizair Kafexhiu .... translator: post-production, Kosovo
Thomas Krempke .... video-to-film transfer: swiss effects
Kurti Lan .... translator: post-production, Kosovo
Ferdi Limani .... translator: Kosovo
Paim Litschin .... porter: Sulfur Mine
Ueli Nüesch .... video-to-fiulm transfer: Swiss Effects
Gerry Pischel .... travel agent: Switzerland, Blue Moon Travel
Heinz Schutzbach .... researcher: Jakartta
Suriadi .... translator: Sulfur Mine
Roger Tanner .... travel agent: Switzerland, Blue Moon Travel
Jens Volkmann .... title designer
Remo Bräuchi .... thanks
Francine Brücher .... thanks
René Burri .... thanks
Cornell Capa .... thanks: New York, International Center of Photography
David Frawley .... thanks: New York, Silver Works
Willia Hartshorn .... thanks: New York, International Center of Photography
William K. Hevener .... thanks: Jakarta
Marc McClish .... thanks: New York, Silver Works
Jim Megargee .... thanks: New York, MV Labs
Dieter Meyer .... thanks
Thomas Muscionico .... thanks
Maria Ressa .... thanks: Jakarta (as Maria A. Ressa)
Carol Spycher .... thanks
John Stanmeyer .... thanks: Jakarta
Michelle Stephenson .... thanks: New York, Time Magazine
Robert B. Stevens .... thanks: New York, Time Magazine
Sumarno .... special thanks: Jakarta
Hugo Würsch .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
France:U | Germany:16 | Switzerland:12 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:12 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:16 (canton of the Grisons)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

James Nachtwey:Fear is not what's important; it's how you deal with it. It would be like asking a marathon runner if they feel pain. It's not a matter of whether you feel it; it's how you manage it. It could happen to any of us, anytime. An we all know that this is a distinct possibility every time we go out, everyday it's what we face. It comes with the territory, it's part of the job, you go in knowing that from the beginning. Nobody feels sorry for themselves; it's just part of it.
James Nachtwey:The main purpose of my work is to appear in the mass media. It's not so much that I want my pictures to be looked upon as art objects as it is a form of communication. Whatever I did that accomplished something, I'm glad for it. But there's always so much more to do...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Silouans SongSee more »


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16 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
video killed the photographer star?, 12 January 2004
Author: ThurstonHunger from Palo Alto, CA, USA

In the "extras" on the DVD there is a short interview with Nachtwey that is perhaps as telling about him as the entire film. One of the comments he makes is that he sees himself as a conduit, and it is his monk-like dedication to being a passive photographer that I think is somewhat problematic in having a film about him.

As such, while I have profound respect for Nachtwey's efforts, his results and evidently his civility in the face of brutality, this film I think is not an essential watch. If you are like me, and feel it is important to remind yourself of how privileged your existence is from time to time, this will suffice. But not as well as an afternoon at a soup kitchen...

I think there is no doubt as to the bravery of a war photographer, in my naivete, I did not think that some folks saw them as crass profiteers until seeing this film (and reading some commentary online. "Vampirism" is addressed obliquely in the film. Well, all aspects are addressed obliquely in this film.

Back to "vampirism," again even if a person were greedy, that would not deny his/her bravery. As I write this, all I know is that Nachtwey was injured in early December along with Michael Weisskopf who allegedly was very heroic in harm's way. I've not seen many updates since the initial reports, and it's been nearly a month. At this time, I should also point out there is a with some of the photos from this film.

In hindsight, I would suggest viewing more photos, while reading the text of interviews with Nachtwey and skip this film.

There are some creative microcameras used to put us not only in Nachtwey's shoes, but in his lens. I found them quickly a distraction, if not an annoyance. And sometimes there would be a lengthy microcamera shot looking back at Nachtwey's brow, properly furrowed as he took in the atrocity at hand.

Images from a sulfur mine (moving from martial to capitalistic crimes?) were eerily beautiful, especially in video format. And video was another problem for me, personally I prefer it to photography. Whether for a wedding, or a war.

But video certainly in its elongation of time, rather than a snapshots snap moment, makes you wonder about the before and after of activities. We demand more from video, with photos we demand more from ourselves.

We see Palestinians with rocks, slingshots and molitov cocktails hurling blindly though smoke and over and around concrete. No story behind why they are there, and some of them seem quite young. A pet peeve of mine is why kids are allowed in harms way in such settings.

People in Jakarta are living near the train tracks, and one family is given specific focus. The message is that these people are just like you, striving to support their children...

But again the video makes me wonder about that family some more. The father has lost an arm and a leg to the trains that he now keeps his family living near by, and unlike the other families, in lean-to's off to the side of the tracks, they are shown "sleeping" right between the tracks.

These questions pop up with video, whereas I think a few photographs and Nachtwey's words voiced over or written in an article would not.

In conclusion, I feel somewhat conflicted giving this less than a 6, especially as I am more than likely aligned with the general beliefs of Nachtwey. His stated belief in the importance of one life is something that I think as individuals we have to try and assert knowing that governments and companies understand how cheap human life is.

That's a tricky balance, and one hard to put on video, possibly better left to a photo and then meditated upon by each one us. We do see many photos here, but then as they are "embedded" in video, they are tainted by that. It happens with embedding I think...the meter is running and the demands of the film must be met. Maybe I should have hit the pause button for each photo?

With hope, soon Nachtwey will be well from his wounds, and again able to document the wounds of the world for us.


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