Under the Wire Reviews

  • Dec 12, 2018

    A brilliant insight into the deadly risks journalists take on a daily basis to report the truth.

    A brilliant insight into the deadly risks journalists take on a daily basis to report the truth.

  • Oct 05, 2018

    Outstanding: the Syrian regime's attempts to kill real journalism are defeated by this magnificent paean to the courage of two heroic figures who risked everything in the pursuit of truth and the possibility of justice. Chris Martin's exceptional film is itself a superb contribution in the war against fake; truth matters and Colvin, Conway and Martin, each in their own way, prove that.

    Outstanding: the Syrian regime's attempts to kill real journalism are defeated by this magnificent paean to the courage of two heroic figures who risked everything in the pursuit of truth and the possibility of justice. Chris Martin's exceptional film is itself a superb contribution in the war against fake; truth matters and Colvin, Conway and Martin, each in their own way, prove that.

  • Sep 10, 2018

    Documentary film-making at its finest. Full of humility, Under The Wire shows people at their best and at their worst. From the ruins of Homs we see the vibrant, beautiful flowers of humanity in Wa'el and Dr Muhammad al-Muhammad This film has the impact of a thousand tv news bulletins. Stalin was right: "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic". Marie Colvin's and now Paul Conroy's Sisyphean task has been to stop Assad and Putin from creating a casual narrative of numbers on news bulletins; Marie and Paul bear witness to the tragedy of each individual who has suffered at the bloody hands of these tyrants. The images and the feelings from this film will not leave you nor the deafening silence of our craven political leaders. Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable. Mon frere!

    Documentary film-making at its finest. Full of humility, Under The Wire shows people at their best and at their worst. From the ruins of Homs we see the vibrant, beautiful flowers of humanity in Wa'el and Dr Muhammad al-Muhammad This film has the impact of a thousand tv news bulletins. Stalin was right: "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic". Marie Colvin's and now Paul Conroy's Sisyphean task has been to stop Assad and Putin from creating a casual narrative of numbers on news bulletins; Marie and Paul bear witness to the tragedy of each individual who has suffered at the bloody hands of these tyrants. The images and the feelings from this film will not leave you nor the deafening silence of our craven political leaders. Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable. Mon frere!

  • Sep 10, 2018

    A truly honest humbling account of the Syrian conflict told through the eyes of photo journalist Paul Conroy. Craftfully edited so that it is an engaging continuous story A must see for everyone

    A truly honest humbling account of the Syrian conflict told through the eyes of photo journalist Paul Conroy. Craftfully edited so that it is an engaging continuous story A must see for everyone

  • Sep 10, 2018

    Documentary film-making at its finest. Full of humility, Under The Wire shows people at their best and at their worst. From the ruins of Homs we see the vibrant, beautiful flowers of humanity in Wa'el and Dr Muhammad al-Muhammad This film has the impact of a thousand tv news bulletins. Stalin was right: "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic". Marie Colvin's and now Paul Conroy's Sisyphean task has been to stop Assad and Putin from creating a casual narrative of numbers on news bulletins; Marie and Paul bear witness to the tragedy of each individual who has suffered at the bloody hands of these tyrants. The images and the feelings from this film will not leave you nor the deafening silence of our craven political leaders. Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable. Mon frere!

    Documentary film-making at its finest. Full of humility, Under The Wire shows people at their best and at their worst. From the ruins of Homs we see the vibrant, beautiful flowers of humanity in Wa'el and Dr Muhammad al-Muhammad This film has the impact of a thousand tv news bulletins. Stalin was right: "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic". Marie Colvin's and now Paul Conroy's Sisyphean task has been to stop Assad and Putin from creating a casual narrative of numbers on news bulletins; Marie and Paul bear witness to the tragedy of each individual who has suffered at the bloody hands of these tyrants. The images and the feelings from this film will not leave you nor the deafening silence of our craven political leaders. Hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable. Mon frere!

  • Sep 07, 2018

    ##UnderTheWire ise An important Documentary, A reminder of true journalism, bearing witness, dark humour and a tribute to Marie and All who died and those who still live in Syria. It also highlights the atrocities of the Assad regime and the suffering of the women and children. AN Absolutely #MustSee film based on Paul Conroy great book of the same name. #HIGHLYRECOMMEND #SOS_ChildrenOfSyria

    ##UnderTheWire ise An important Documentary, A reminder of true journalism, bearing witness, dark humour and a tribute to Marie and All who died and those who still live in Syria. It also highlights the atrocities of the Assad regime and the suffering of the women and children. AN Absolutely #MustSee film based on Paul Conroy great book of the same name. #HIGHLYRECOMMEND #SOS_ChildrenOfSyria

  • Sep 03, 2018

    A terrific story powerfully told The Fourth Estate has taken a pounding in recent years, and one wonders what Edward R. Murrow would have made of it all, but one thing of which we can be certain is that he would have respected the hell out of Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin. Based on the book of the same name by Colvin's photographer, Paul Conroy, who is also the primary interviewee, the documentary covers the assignment on which Colvin was killed - the February 2012 military offensive during the Siege of Homs in Syria, and whilst thematically, the film is about both Colvin's indefatigable spirit and Conroy's deep respect for her, it's structured more like a thriller, complete with plot twists, heroism, sacrifice, and success against-the-odds. Colvin was primarily concerned with presenting the stories of those usually forgotten in conflicts, arguing that "being a war correspondent is about what people are going through". Having covered the Arab Spring in Libya, she next headed to Syria. On February 3, 2012, in the city of Homs, the Syrian Army launched an offensive focused on the rebel stronghold of Baba Amr. With the Bashar al-Assad government attempting to control the influx of journalists into the country, Colvin and Conroy illegally crossed the Syrian/Lebanon border. Once in Baba Amr, they learned that Assad's claim that no civilians were in harm's way was a lie - over 28,000 civilians were trapped. Based out of a "media centre", Colvin, Conroy, TIME's William Daniels, and Le Figaro's Edith Bouvier, and her photographer Remi Ochlik, immediately began to file copy, as the city was shelled around them. On the evening of February 21, Colvin was interviewed live by CNN's Anderson Cooper, whom she told the shelling was the worst she had ever experienced. The following morning, the media centre in which the reporters were based was shelled, with both Colvin and Ochlik killed, and Conroy and Bouvier seriously injured. This takes us to just after the half-way point of the film. With Colvin dead, the narrative shifts focus to Conroy, and the film turns into an escape thriller, as the wounded photographer seems to have little hope of making it out of the country alive (nor does the even more severely wounded Bouvier). Obviously both did, as they both give interviews in the film, but even though we know this, the fact that it doesn't dilute the heart-in-the-mouth experience of the second half of the narrative is a testament to Martin's craft and storytelling ability. The film opens with a purposely disorientating shot that appears to be inside a tunnel. We later learn it is the 3km storm drain which Colvin and Conroy used to get into Syria. However, what's so well-thought-out about this opening is that the storm-drain proves vitally important towards the end too. This is basic narrative foreshadowing, but it's unusual to see it in a documentary. Also vital to this thriller structuring is the time the documentary takes to explain the Syrian Arab Red Crescent incident. No spoilers, but this sequence is one of the best parts of the film, providing perhaps the biggest twist in the story, and highlighting how one can find heroes in the most unexpected of places. Obviously, as the author of the book on which the film is based, Conroy anchors proceedings. Indeed, there are only a few additional interviewees (Bouvier, Daniels, their Syrian translator Wa'el, Colvin's colleague and friend Lindsey Hilsum, and Times editor Paul Ryan). Passionate, funny, and full of nervous ticks, Conroy's talking-head material contrasts well with the terrifying footage he himself shot in Syria, and raises significant questions regarding why Assad has been allowed to remain in power, whilst also forcing the audience to consider our own attitude to the Syrian refugee crisis (try watching an elderly man and woman hobble away from the ruins of the home they have lived in all their lives, their few remaining possessions strapped to their backs, and remain detached as to the plight of these people). Conroy is also deeply emotional regarding his experiences, and one of the most moving parts of the documentary is when he views footage of a mass protest in Homs on the evening of February 22, with the people carrying banners and flags emblazoned with pictures of Colvin and Ochlik, alongside the words "We will not forget you". Conroy was unaware this had happened at the time, and had never seen footage of it before filming his interview. It's simply impossible not to be deeply moved by his reaction to the footage. Equal parts emotive, stimulating, anger-inducing, and thrilling, this is a story of bravery and professional dedication in the face of unimaginable horrors, of determined humanitarianism, and impossible-to-deter dedication to giving a voice to those who so often remain voiceless.

    A terrific story powerfully told The Fourth Estate has taken a pounding in recent years, and one wonders what Edward R. Murrow would have made of it all, but one thing of which we can be certain is that he would have respected the hell out of Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin. Based on the book of the same name by Colvin's photographer, Paul Conroy, who is also the primary interviewee, the documentary covers the assignment on which Colvin was killed - the February 2012 military offensive during the Siege of Homs in Syria, and whilst thematically, the film is about both Colvin's indefatigable spirit and Conroy's deep respect for her, it's structured more like a thriller, complete with plot twists, heroism, sacrifice, and success against-the-odds. Colvin was primarily concerned with presenting the stories of those usually forgotten in conflicts, arguing that "being a war correspondent is about what people are going through". Having covered the Arab Spring in Libya, she next headed to Syria. On February 3, 2012, in the city of Homs, the Syrian Army launched an offensive focused on the rebel stronghold of Baba Amr. With the Bashar al-Assad government attempting to control the influx of journalists into the country, Colvin and Conroy illegally crossed the Syrian/Lebanon border. Once in Baba Amr, they learned that Assad's claim that no civilians were in harm's way was a lie - over 28,000 civilians were trapped. Based out of a "media centre", Colvin, Conroy, TIME's William Daniels, and Le Figaro's Edith Bouvier, and her photographer Remi Ochlik, immediately began to file copy, as the city was shelled around them. On the evening of February 21, Colvin was interviewed live by CNN's Anderson Cooper, whom she told the shelling was the worst she had ever experienced. The following morning, the media centre in which the reporters were based was shelled, with both Colvin and Ochlik killed, and Conroy and Bouvier seriously injured. This takes us to just after the half-way point of the film. With Colvin dead, the narrative shifts focus to Conroy, and the film turns into an escape thriller, as the wounded photographer seems to have little hope of making it out of the country alive (nor does the even more severely wounded Bouvier). Obviously both did, as they both give interviews in the film, but even though we know this, the fact that it doesn't dilute the heart-in-the-mouth experience of the second half of the narrative is a testament to Martin's craft and storytelling ability. The film opens with a purposely disorientating shot that appears to be inside a tunnel. We later learn it is the 3km storm drain which Colvin and Conroy used to get into Syria. However, what's so well-thought-out about this opening is that the storm-drain proves vitally important towards the end too. This is basic narrative foreshadowing, but it's unusual to see it in a documentary. Also vital to this thriller structuring is the time the documentary takes to explain the Syrian Arab Red Crescent incident. No spoilers, but this sequence is one of the best parts of the film, providing perhaps the biggest twist in the story, and highlighting how one can find heroes in the most unexpected of places. Obviously, as the author of the book on which the film is based, Conroy anchors proceedings. Indeed, there are only a few additional interviewees (Bouvier, Daniels, their Syrian translator Wa'el, Colvin's colleague and friend Lindsey Hilsum, and Times editor Paul Ryan). Passionate, funny, and full of nervous ticks, Conroy's talking-head material contrasts well with the terrifying footage he himself shot in Syria, and raises significant questions regarding why Assad has been allowed to remain in power, whilst also forcing the audience to consider our own attitude to the Syrian refugee crisis (try watching an elderly man and woman hobble away from the ruins of the home they have lived in all their lives, their few remaining possessions strapped to their backs, and remain detached as to the plight of these people). Conroy is also deeply emotional regarding his experiences, and one of the most moving parts of the documentary is when he views footage of a mass protest in Homs on the evening of February 22, with the people carrying banners and flags emblazoned with pictures of Colvin and Ochlik, alongside the words "We will not forget you". Conroy was unaware this had happened at the time, and had never seen footage of it before filming his interview. It's simply impossible not to be deeply moved by his reaction to the footage. Equal parts emotive, stimulating, anger-inducing, and thrilling, this is a story of bravery and professional dedication in the face of unimaginable horrors, of determined humanitarianism, and impossible-to-deter dedication to giving a voice to those who so often remain voiceless.