War Story (2014) - Mark Jackson
Lee, a celebrated war photography, has recently endured a brutal detainment in Libya, witnessing the murder of one of her colleagues Mark, a man she was very close with. Now in Sicily, Lee stays in a local hotel, unwilling and unable to return back to the States as she attempts to come to terms with this whole tragic ordeal. Staying very much to herself, Lee happens to cross paths with a Tunisian migrant who dreams of safe passage to France, a woman who bears a striking resemblance to a Libyan girl Lee photographed right before her detainment. Mark Jackson's War Story is an intimate portrait of an individuals fragility as she tries to come to terms with tragedy. Catherine Keener is a revelation in this film, bringing a haunting physicality to her performance, making the viewer feel the pain and anguish of this woman. War Story is a quiet film that lets its story flow organically, taking its time in revealing the full background of what Lee has been through. Lee has dedicated her life to documenting war, and the way the character's idealism is shattered by a horrific situation is fascinating to watch, as she comes to question her professional existence. Along with Keener's performance, the cinematography visually communicates Lee's tortured soul, capturing the isolation, loneliness, and sadness she feels. The relationship Lee forms with the Tunisian migrant is very important to the films themes, with this woman being Lee's salvation per se. Through this woman Lee is given an opportunity to leave a positive impact in an environment nearly devoid of goodness, even reigniting Lee's passion in the process, allowing her to move on from the traumatic situation that threatened to end her career.
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