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"there is no human right but only strong right" so real.
Know this man. Watch this movie.
Excellent documentary! Very insightful look into the risks reporters take to get the story, and in this case, also highlighting the ongoing struggles in the Sudan region of Africa.
Thought-provoking and important.
Fantastic. I have an increasing amount of respect for Kristof. He writes powerful columns by focusing on specific people and situations that are often meant to convey larger issues. A particularly interesting part of the movie is Kristof's telling of how he stays emotionally distant from the immediate situations so that he can tell the stories. Seems to work.
Pulitzer-prize-winning NYTimes reporter Kristof has made a career out of sending dispatches from global troubled spots, and "Reporter" catches up with him (accompanied by two ready-to-be-edified American twentysomethings) in DR Congo 2008, the atrocity exhibition of Africa. The doc explores Kristof's methodology as he travels from decimated village to refugee camp to warlord's retreat. Mind-numbing statistics (5.5 million dead in the past 10 years) and sober pessimism prevail. The film addresses this numbness and pessimism which somehow serves to keep such tragedies under the MSM's radar, and ours.
"Psychic numbing" is the term referring to the tendency for people to care less about tragedies and atrocities in the rest of the world if confronted with overwhelming statistics and overarching generalities. Research shows that people are more inclined to give money and support to an individual child in a third world country than they are if told about the millions who need shelter from disease, poverty, and oppression. New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof attempts to combat psychic numbing with his work by trying to give an individual and personal focal point for each piece he writes about horrors in the third world. Specifically focusing on one of Kristof's trips to Congo, Eric Daniel Metzgar's Reporter follows the journalist on his quest to find the most desperate story he can in order to give a face and an identity to the fallout brought about by the Congolese war that has resulted in over 4 million deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugee displacements. The film is so much more than just an effort to shadow the two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist - it also draws attention to the benefits of our support during third world tragedy and the consequences of our apathy as well as highlighting the caring nuances of personalized journalism in a world and time where opinionated bloggers' and analysts' opinions and bickerings have eroded the integrity of reporting the news.
Kristof has not only won awards for his reporting on tragedies in the third world, but he is also outspoken in his opinion that we can help and we need to help those who cannot help themselves. To show us why, Kristof ventures deep into Congo to find the most desperate case he can, much to the chagrin, at first, to director Metzgar. Initially assuming that Kristof's quest was to generalize and simplify the conflict that began with the Rwandan genocide in 1994-1995, Metzgar journeys along with us through the film as he and we gradually discover that the journalist seeks out the most desperate case in order to give a face to the struggle to whom people can relate. Through this tactic, we can clearly see the care and intent that Kristof gives to his work, which is heavy both emotionally - reporting about, yet distancing himself from physical and mental trauma - and psychologically - conveying to millions of readers just how severe and futile the slaughters and displacements are.
In order to do this, Kristof is unrelentingly thorough in his quest, traveling to the most remote villages in the heart of conflict zones. The fact that the villagers are joyous to see a U.N. convey because they're assuming they're being given aide, is not so much an exploitative sequence of events as much as it's indicative of both the catastrophic situation within the country and the hope that they have of getting out of it. The pursuit of the story also brings Kristof, Metzgar, and the crew, which includes two college students who won the chance to accompany Kristof, to a meeting with General Laurent Nkunda, the leader of the pro-Tutsi armies in Congo. Here, we see the nuances and complications that exist within such a massive conflict as all of Nkunda's forces consider themselves devout Christians doing the Lord's work - Nkunda himself is an ordained minister - and the general is insistent that they want peace in the Congo as much as NGO's and world government's. As a matter of fact, Nkunda surprisingly admits that he was a teacher and leader of an NGO before he took up the fight against the Rwandan genociders.
Reporter succeeds not only as a revealing look at a passionate and intelligent journalist, but also as a call to action. Metzgar and Kristof never pummel the audience over the head with melodrama or invocations for sympathy, but the question of "how are we supposed to feel?" is embodied within the two students who accompany Kristof. Regular folks just like you and I, they are constantly confronted with questions of how they should feel and how they should react and Metzgar has stated that the fact that if they, and we, leave the experience understanding the situation a bit better, than that is the first step towards change. Kristof has worked for years to help us understand the conflicts in the third world and Reporter can help in that regard.