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War Photographer


Robert Capa’s motto was “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you are not close enough.” The incredibly talented war photographer James Nachtwey has been close enough for twenty years.
From Kosovo to Indonesia and Palestine, viewers are given real-time access to Nachtwey’s unique perspective thanks to the miniature camera attached to his still camera, which enables us to see all that he sees, as he sees it. Frei, following just a few meters behind, shows us the full context of how Nachtwey works to capture these heartrending images.


    “For more than two decades Mr. Nachtwey has traveled to places in the world devastated by war, famine and poverty and documented the cruelty and suffering he has found with an devastating, eloquent clarity.”
    A.O. Scott
    “Frei provides a keenly observed, amply illustrated portrait of the man and his not exactly comfy chosen profession”
    Michael Rechtshaffen
    “Frei's masterstroke is immediately apparent, as he has a micro-camera attached to Nachtwey's 35 mm camera body. It allows us to see Nachtwey from a bug's p.o.v., if that bug were clinging to his camera and watching the lenser's every subtle move. More than a mere device, this is a completely fresh way of capturing a photographer going about his work. An instant classic of its kind, docu, which opens Stateside in June, should find ready buyers for prestige docu-friendly slots internationally.”
    Robert Koehler
    “Frei assembles a fascinating profile of a deeply humanistic artist who, in spite of all that he's witnessed, remains surprisingly idealistic, and retains an extraordinary faith in the ability of images to communicate the truth of the world around him.”
    Ken Fox
    “Intriguing Oscar-nominated documentary.”
    Phil Hall
    “This film is an act of spiritual faith -- an eloquent, deeply felt meditation on the nature of compassion.”
    Edward Guthmann
    “Watching War Photographer, you come to believe that Nachtwey hates the wars he shows and empathizes with the victims he reveals.”
    Michael Wilmongton

Festival Participation

  • Academy Awards - 2002
    Nominated for Oscar for Best Documentary
  • Encounters South African International Documentary Festival - 2002
    Audience Award for Best Film
  • Gent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival - 2002
    Canvas Prize
  • Doc Aviv International Documentary Festiva - 2002
    Award for Best International Documentary
  • Durban International Film Festival - 2002
    Award for Best Documentary
  • Swiss Film Prize - 2002
    Nominated for Swiss Film Prize for Best Documentary
  • Adolf Grimme Awards - 2003
    Nominated for Best Cultural Documentary
  • European Documentary Film Festival - 2003
    Eurodok Award
  • One World Documentary Film Festival - 2003
    Audience Award
  • Dokufest Film Festival - 2003
    Award for Best Documentary
  • Emmy Awards - 2003
    Nominated for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Cinematography
  • Amsterdam International Documentary Filmfestival - 2001
  • Vision du Reel - 2002
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - 2002
  • Hot Docs Documentary Festival - 2002

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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