TIFF 2018 Review: “A Private War” (2018) ★★★★★

Photo by Aviron Pictures – © Aviron Pictures

In the light of the Trump era where he labels all the journalists as enemy of the state and calls every news they report about him as fake, we need more movies like “A Private War” to show that every single journalist out there is there to deliver the news, good or bad, but do their job even if that job will cost them the only thing that cannot be replaced  – their life.

“A Private War” directed by Matthew Heineman follows Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin and the devastating chronicles of events, her decisions on reporting news from a zone even soldiers run away from, telling the truth about the war in Sri Lanka, Irag and Syria. Her bravery, intelligence and hunger for constant search of truth takes her to Syria’s Homs, where she loses her life after a bomb strike.

Produced by Charlize Theron, “A Private War” is an excellent biopic that captures that strength Marie Colvin had which made her travel to all the dangerous places when her editor would simply say – no. “You will never get anywhere if you acknowledge the fear” Colvin will say, which is enough to understand the level of bravery the war correspondent had, even during her last interview with CNN, after which she will get killed before getting to a safe place.

Rosamund Pike as Marie Colvin was absolutely phenomenal. She seems to use all the skills she had to capture Colvin in the most convincing way. Yes, there were moments when we find Colvin suffering from PTSD, or the image of a little girl that appears in hear head, dead. All these are felt strongly throughout the film, while Pike does what’s required to cement Marie Colvin’s biopic as a touching, memorable and important tribute that should have been paid no other way.

The screenplay written is simply outstanding. Every single line delivered by Pike is complete gold. For instance, she repeats what Colvin once said about war: “The government does not care about the war that much, as it’s not them who gets wounded and killed.” That said, “A Private War” is a powerful biopic, sometimes grimy, but never misses its strong point that the journalists out there that die every day or try to survive is not for fake news, but for the news corrupt governments try to hide. And that is the strongest message “A Private War” delivers, I hope will be heard in every corner of this earth.

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