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A Private War

by Louise Adams
Monday Feb 11, 2019
A Private War

Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman brings his nonfiction ethos to the real-life dramatization of Marie Colvin's legendary reporting in "A Private War."

Oscar-nominee Rosamund Pike is raw and intense as the celebrated Sunday Times conflict correspondent. A native New Yorker based in London, Colvin ventured to the frontlines of many battles to tell the stories of civilians, and to buttonhole authoritarians like Muammar Gaddafi. She lost an eye while on assignment in Sri Lanka, giving her a signature eye patch and badass cred for fearlessness, as well as for speaking truth to power.

At her side was renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan), who captured the carnage on film and attempted to help chain-smoking Colvin ameliorate her alcohol consumption, which was legendary due to her PTSD. Stanley Tucci plays one of her lovers, Tony Shaw.

She died in Homs, Syria, in 2012. Her family sued the government, claiming it had ordered her assassination. In early 2019, a judge awarded the family $302 million in damages.

The brief bonus Blu-ray features include "Women in the World Summit Q&A" and "Requiem for A Private War," which interviews "Bring It On" theme song writer/singer Annie Lennox, who had actually met the journalist.

In "Becoming Marie Colvin," Heineman, Tucci, Dornan, the real-life Conroy and the lead herself talk about Pike's extensively preparation for the role. The director calls the film "a love letter to Marie, and to journalism."

In the script (by Arash Amel), Marie asks refugees, "Why have you been abandoned?" and the film asks viewers why is truth being forgotten as well?

"A Private War"

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


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