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What is the first thing you think of when the guy behind you gets his legs blown off? What time is it when it hits 'bomb o'clock'? How do you fall for a woman, who then reveals herself as an assassin? Hoka Hey is a narrative feature, 5 years in the making, documenting the life story and extraordinary adventures of British conflict photographer, Jason P. Howe. He survived 12 years on the front-line of four wars, capturing images of humanity at war, its suffering, and cultures in disarray. His work has been showcased in many of the world's best-known publications, such as The New York Times, The Telegraph, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many others. It all started with a self-funded trip to Colombia into an area synonymous with drug trafficking and violence. Documenting the brutal war between the left-wing rebel group, FARC, their sworn enemies the military, and the right-wing paramilitary groups, Jason gained the trust of all sides of this scarcely reported war - putting him in a ... Written by
Tim Page - War Photographer:
What the MOD, DOD or whoever the fuck they are... doesn't want... they don't want war to be unappetizing. Its got to remain good, because otherwise you can't get people to join up anymore... no more draft.
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With seemingly no genuinely humble connection to many of the stories behind the photos, this documentary comes across as particularly transactional and false. Perhaps Jason is the only thing Jason loves more than his photos and this 90 minute documentary exercise in self- love stands as a clear testament to this sentiment. Frankly if Jason had taken my photo I would've ensured he couldn't have profiteered from it, as I could think of nothing worse than enriching and emboldening a man who sees himself as such a martyr.
Whilst reflecting on a day when a man lost both of his legs, serving his country, Jason feels the need to reiterate how valued he was in the ensuing CASEVAC, whilst staring forlornly into the middle distance. They shook his hand! Why couldn't more photo-journo's be like him?!
I'm glad I chose to rent this documentary rather than to buy it outright. I got a chance to see the footage that I wanted to see, although there wasn't much of it - plenty of airtime for monologues in CPs and wide angle shots of Jason putting his kit on, though. A boring and self-absorbed piece of work.
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