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The part I liked best about this film is the way it uses Nachtwey's camera to do the actual filming: on top of his still camera, the filmmakers mounted a little movie camera. The end result is that you can watch the scene unfolding as if you were looking through Nachtwey's own lens. Watching as he transforms scenes of violence, chaos, and noise into breathtaking still photographs is fascinating. Any shutterbugs out there will enjoy this movie for that aspect of it alone.
It's also a very moving film--very intense. I certainly can't get through it without tearing up, and when I looked around the theater I saw the same shock and grief on the faces of my fellow moviegoers. The ethos of the film seems to reflect the sentiment behind Nachtwey's own photographs; that is, you don't get the New York Times explanation of who the victims are, who the perpetrators are, or what the socio-political context is. The violence and suffering are presented simply: this thing happened to this person at this moment, and it was awful.
It's not too preachy; the viewer is left to ask her own questions about why and how these things happen. Sometimes all those explanations can obscure the individual lives that are contained in a word like "collateral damage." Nachtwey's photography, and this film, clarify that fact simply by observing it. That's the essence of the best documentary photography, and it's a great reason to see this film.
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