Toronto war doc Under Fire: Journalists in Combat is a documentary about the psychological cost of journalists and photographers covering war. We all think to understand what’s going on around the world, but who really understands what war really means. It’s mainly thanks to war journalists and photographers that the outside world has at least a slight understanding of these horrors. Still, the real images showing the real trauma are mostly censored and deemed unfit for publishing, but that doesn’t make the job of covering combat less traumatic. Who are these men and women risking their lives for photos and stories?
Journalism in times of war has become an increasingly lethal and traumatic endeavor for the men and women who face constant threats to their lives and psyches. With the death toll skyrocketing from only two reporters killed in World War I to almost a journalist a week being killed in the last two decades, this documentary weaves together portraits, battlefield accounts and combat footage to reveal what the reporters see, think and feel.
Martyn Burke, documentary filmmaker whose work has brought him to battlefields around the world, and Anthony Feinstein, the psychiatrist who works with journalists to heal the trauma, delve into the experiences of top tier correspondents from AP, New York Times, BBC and LA Times, among others, bringing a unique understanding and insight into the psychological cost of covering war.
Winner of the Peabody Award and shortlisted for the Academy Awards, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat is a fascinating exploration of the mentality of war zone reporters and the toll their dangerous, chosen work can have on them. The documentary takes the viewer into the psychological cost of covering wars. Having been through wars himself, Burke lets the latest wave of combat reporters tell of the invisible toll that war often takes as jarring footage of what they experienced plays on the screen.
Here’s the trailer: