TIFF 2020: “The Way I See It”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am a strong believer of the thought that captured images can speak for themselves. It can’t play games, it doesn’t fool anyone, nor does it lie; It has no intentions of spreading conspiracies, beginning a war or harming someone. What it also does is that it showcases the power of unveiling the true nature of an individual who tries to hide behind an artificial façade. But whatever we do, we can’t escape from what we are because the camera lens will continue seeing us the way it always does – with highest precision.

“The Way I see It” is a documentary that will make you want to invent a time machine to find a way to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election in the US that literally put the world on its knees. It follows a former White House chief photographer, Pete Souza, who reflects on the Obama presidency, its challenges, and both tough and funny moments. More importantly, armed with the camera, he genuinely captures the moments of two presidents, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, and how in both cases they changed the world forever.

Directed by Dawn Porter, the magnificent and utterly engaging documentary invites the audience into a journey of a lifetime, no matter on what side of the political spectrum you see yourself in. As the camera follows Pete Souza, he reflects on the two Presidents and how he managed to be invisible in the most busiest office in the world while his camera, relentlessly and shamelessly, would capture historic moments of Obama or Reagan non-stop.

Souza not only explains his choices of becoming a photographer but also why he became an opinionated photographer. For instance, there is one brilliant scene that explains why the world is enduring COVID-19, and why it could have been stopped if, for example, the president was Obama or even George W. Bush. Souza is a man of principles, ideas, and honesty. His level of integrity and transparency, kindness and empathy is the driving force of “The Way I see It”. At some point, you will find yourself genuinely smiling and even crying for the same reason.

That said, “The Way I see It” is a brilliant, intelligent, wicked and superbly entertaining piece of art I highly recommend not to be missed. Being released right before the election will help to shape a certain opinion and help to decide in which direction we all should head towards. Even though me or you alone cannot decide the outcome of the 2020 election, make no mistake, it is still very important even if we were to live in our own private island. The film perfectly shows the importance of being the President of the United States because if the U.S. gets in trouble the whole world inevitably does too. When the richest country on earth starts getting sick, weak, and divisive, all other continents follow the chain and will get infected by the virus of greed and corruption, which is much worse than COVID itself.

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