Movie Review: A Private War


This is a movie about the reality of war, but this reality is completely avoidable. In my opinion, there has never been any need to ever have any member of the press in harms way in the middle of any war zone in the world. Members of the press are not trained, do not have a weapon and everything that they do, including taking pictures, video and ultimately writing a story all can be replaced with simple common sense alternatives, that ultimately will save lives. The number of correspondents killed while covering wars over the years is staggering and completely unnecessary. A simple video camera on a tank, some pictures being taken by a soldier and in the end the same story, without putting a civilian in such a dangerous situation can be written with the reporter safe and sound in a hotel miles from the war.

The movie “A Private War” is about war correspondent Marie Colvin who spent her entire career reporting in war zones and ultimately lost her eye and in the end her life in Syria in February 2012 spending her last minutes in the most violent place on earth that she had no business being in.

There is a saying about having a “calling” for a particular profession, and this includes being a doctor or a dentist, a construction worker and as this story clearly proves – being a reporter; reporting in the most violent and dangerous places on earth because you just have to be a witness to history, you just have to get that story.

The acting in this movie is very good, starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Colvin but for me the non stop, constant and disgusting cigarette chain smoking in this movie was so prevalent, I cannot give a recommendation to this movie. Despite the very strong reviews, especially on Rotten Tomatoes at 89%, I still cannot recommend this film out of principle. It does not matter that Marie Colvin and her colleagues probably smoked, what matters in this film is the overwhelming and constant depiction of this horrendous risk to a person’s health that has no business being shown in any movie this frequently. Especially because some Tobacco company is investing money to help produce the film.

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