War Photographer is Christian Frei’s portrait of veteran photojournalist James Natchwey who covers wars, poverty and other places of strife. Frie’s camera follows Natchwey on assignment, at his workshop, and those who speak of Natchwey—especially his editors. Natchwey speaks eloquently—and with keen insight—of his own work.
As I viewed War Photographer, the word ‘extreme’ kept cropping up. The subjects of war and poverty are, of course, extreme; and so is the high quality of this production; and the extreme insight Natchwey has in himself, his work and intentions; the extreme ability he has to articulate his insights; the extreme calmness and quietude he manifests on assignment; the extremely horrible images and stories we, the audience, inevitably must see when taking in his work—and the extremely inspiring nobility of James Nachtwey.
War Photographer is a classic, timeless documentary. I have a slowly growing list of documentary films that stand out, that haunt me, and this is one of them. Natchwey and his story are unforgettable.