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Documentary about deceased photojournalist Tim Hetherington directed by Sebastian Junger. Together with his friend and long-term collaborator Sebastian, Tim had travelled the world documenting conflicts in Afghanistan, Liberia and Libya among other locations. Best known for their 2010 film 'Restrepo' which was nominated for an Academy Award, the two strived to capture the humanity within conflict situations and with their images they focused on the individuals involved and their experiences of the violence surrounding them. Unfortunately, in 2011 Tim was killed by a mortar blast and this film is a tribute and celebration of the legacy he has left behind and includes Sebastian conducting interviews with those who knew Tim best.Written by
I had the chance to review the film Which Way is the Frontline from Here through a link sent to me by the producers.
The director and the producers decided to place the film under the documentary category, but I would call it rather a tribute than a documentary. The director, Sebastian Junger, was one of Tim Hetherington's best friend and took little risks in this movie. The film, uses almost 130 minutes to call uncritical and monotone lines about Tim's personality, life and work. It leaves out any nuance or questions that could open unknown doors towards the complexities the person Tim Hetherington may have had.
The film has little objectivity on the event of Misurata April 20th 2011. It ignores important elements that could illuminate the questions about how and most important why the photographers decided to return to the frontlines ignoring the eminent risks they knew existed. In one scene, my voice was taken from a video where I'm calling for an ambulance to rescue the wounded rebel fighter Hamid Swahili. My voice was taken out of it's original context and used to illustrate the explosion that killed Tim Hetherington, Chris Hondros and wounded two other photographers. I was not present at the place where the explosion happened, and, therefore, my voice could logically never be there. The situation my voice was taken from happened 5 days after the incident that killed and wounded the photographers.
The directors paid no attention to credit the ones contributing with videos for the film. Because of that, the viewer is induced to feel/believe all the videos used in the tribute were filmed by Tim Hetherington.
The deaths of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros came to confirm the start of a distressful trend where many other good journalists would loose their lives covering the Arab Revolutions. Adopting a highly conservative and at some points superficial view, the director and the producers, lost a unique chance to contribute with reflections and to raise important questions about that.
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