The Jakarta Post
A Private War tells the story of an American journalist who works as a foreign affairs correspondent for British newspaper The Sunday Times.
Based on a true story, the biographical drama pays tribute to Marie Colvin, the American journalist, by showing the sacrifices that have to be made to discover the truth.
Matthey Heinemann, who has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won an Emmy Award, directed the movie, while Rosamund Pike plays the role of Colvin.
Colvin’s story begins in Sri Lanka where a blast wounds her eye, forcing her to wear an eyepatch. Her other assignment depicted in the movie is her search for mass graves of Iraq war casualties. She is accompanied by British photographer Paul Conroy, played by Jamie Dornan.
In the movie, nightmares start to haunt Colvin after she interviews Colonel Gadaffi in Libya and sees fellow journalist Norm Coburn being killed. The memories of seeing dead children will also not let her go, including a young girl bleeding to death, who she continues to see in her dreams. To escape her trauma, Marie turns to alcohol, but still she wants to be out in the field.
As much as Colvin hates war, she is compelled to tell stories, to make people stop and care. In the midst of war, no matter how much she hates it, is where she feels most comfortable. As well as fighting for justice, the journalist also fights her own private war and faces her greatest fears.
One day Colvin finds herself in Homs, Syria, after she tracks down many civilians, mostly women and children, who are trapped in a shelter. There is a shortage of medical staff, so Colvin and Conroy witness a young boy die. It is the kind of moment when a photographer holds their camera but never releases the shutter.
Colvin, who nearly leaves Homs, insists on turning back to the besieged city to broadcast live to British television channels. However, pursuing her only and most important goal, telling the war victims’ stories, eventually becomes her downfall.
The two battles that Colvin fights, one of uncovering the truth of the bloody war for the world to know, and the other her personal fears, reflects the endless courage that set her apart from so many. (sop/mut)