was at the Film Fest yesterday to watch War Photographer & City Of God, and was very inspired/in awe of the works of war correspondents and photographers, esp in light of the Iraq war now. thought i'll post some of my thoughts there.
excerpt from the Film Fest 2003 website
(scroll to the bottom)
Photojournalist James Nachtwey has been traveling to war-torn countries for two decades to document the poverty, famine and suffering. This film combines interviews with photographs, and even a "photographer's-eye view" of the action-a video camera was fixed to the body of Nachtwey's still camera, bringing us into the frontline as well. From Nicaragua during the contra war, South Africa in the mid-1980's Kosovo, Indonesia and Rwanda, the film reflects on what kind of difference the photographs have made."
several things struck me while i was watching the show...
- you must really have a calling in life to want to become a war photographer - the pay can't be great, you take incredible risks and all for the sake of recording history as it happens
- i really wonder how war photogs deal with the reality of it all - the brutality, death and sheer violence. from the movie, seems that different people deal with it differently, from drinking (like soldiers), talking non-stop about it or simply being very cynical about life. what is more aew-inspiring was the determination to capture the scene before you, clicking away @ your shutter despite all the bullets and dying people all around you.
- makes me realize what a cushy life we have here. i mean, photogy to most of us is just a hobby to kill time and interest, but to these people, it's a means of telling the world to sit up and take notice.
- i really admired James Nachtwey for his lack of use of zoom lenses (thoughout the show, he only uses 28-70mm or 24-70mm zooms, without flash) while the rest of the photogs were lugging 70-200 type zooms. he really epitomizes Robert Capa's saying that "if your photos aren't good enough, you're not close enough".
- the theatre was only about 2/3s full, but i think most of them were photogs. i saw plenty of Crumplers, lowepros and domkes in evidence. spotted a couple of media photogs and CS members as well (met rueyloon and i think i spotted Red Dawn and Lance from Offstone).
all in all, a very worthwhile movie to catch if you're into street photog or planning to become a media photog.
just some random thoughts. feel free to comment or add your 2 cents worth.