Theo Who Lived (2016)
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Critic Reviews for Theo Who Lived
Basically we have an 86-minute documentary that's virtually a monologue by Padnos of his experiences.
Though no apologist for the Al Qaeda faction that kidnapped him in Syria in 2012, Padnos's rueful and sympathetic storytelling exhibits the kind of cultural understanding that drew him to the region in the first place.
Schisgall's interviews with her enrich the portrait of Padnos, but it's the journo's open gaze and natural inquisitiveness, his refusal to merely demonize his abusers, that give the film its discomforting power.
This film is valuable on account of its singular vantage point, and not just because of the firsthand description of the jihadist group's brutality, which is unsurprising.
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