The first post of 2011... and I'm starting with a short film that has managed to wind me up no end.
I'll let you make your own mind up about the photographer character in this short film, but i will just add that i don't think the film is clear cut enough in it's depiction of the moral issues of reporting a war. Quite honestly, I don't like the female photojournalist character one little bit. She seems to possess all the qualities that i think a photojournalist shouldn't have! The film did remind me though of a story I once read.
The former BBC reporter Martin Bell writes in his 1995 autobiography 'In Harm's Way' about the moral implications of covering stories in a war zone. Bell had covered stories in war zones from Vietnam to Bosnia and his book dealt extensively with his experiences of reporting from war torn Bosnia and Croatia during the 1990's. He writes about the following anecdote that could be apocryphal but probably isn't.
The story concerns a journalist who want to write a profile about a sniper in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war of the 1990's. The sniper is looking down on a street. 'What do you see'? asks the journalist. 'I see two people walking in the street' replies the sniper, 'Which of them do you want me to shoot'? It's at this point that the journalist realizes he is in the wrong place at the wrong time, engaged on a story that is fatally flawed and one he should have never considered.
The journalist urges the sniper not to shoot and turns to leave. At that same moment two shots ring out. 'That was a pity' says the sniper 'You could have saved one of their lives'.