Friday, October 05, 2018


Documentary Chris Martin (THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY) returns with a powerful and deeply moving documentary about the death of Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin in the Syrian civil war in 2012. The story of her death in a bombing raid is told principally by her photographer Paul Conroy.  What emerges is the tale of a remarkable woman and journalist, no stranger to extreme risk, having already lost an eye in Sri Lanka.  She comes across as a strong woman, perhaps difficult because uncompromising, who had a clear mission to report about the innocent victims of war. One of the stories told about her is how she saved civilians from being killed by refusing to leave them, and leveraging her journalistic credentials and protections.  And it was just such a story that led Marie and Paul to Homs - a city where the civilians were being relentlessly bombed by Assad's government. They get holed up in a building in a city ringed with troops and seemingly on fire and Marie and another journalist are killed.

I wasn't surprised to be moved by her story but what perhaps did surprise me was how charismatic and moving Conroy's testimony would be, and how darkly thrilling his tale of escape would be. How he and his colleagues managed to get out of the house and into a car and just drive like hell through the oncoming fire.  It's thrilling and horrifying all at once. 

Overall, the documentary struck me as being well produced, tightly constructed and deeply moving and provocative. It left me with a profound respect for war journalists and new insight into the Syrian civil war. It's a tough watch - but rightly so - and a film we must watch regardless.

UNDER THE WIRE is currently on release in the UK and is available on streaming services. The movie is rated R and has a running time of 95 minutes.

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