9 thoughts on “A Message from James Nachtwey

  1. I originally saw War Photographer shortly after it was released (and was introduced to James Nachtwey’s work through it). There is a more recent documentary about the photo agency he started (Vii). When I get home from I’ll look up the title of it for you Rolf (if you haven’t heard of it before).

    He certainly on my top 5 list of photographers, which isn’t ranked. For those that care the rest are: Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, and Atget.

  2. They are on my list too – and they are all dead.

    I was blown away by Nachtwey’s ability to go into the personal space of people, shooting and being welcome. In one scene in “War Photographer” he is shooting a burial of a civil war victim, nearly standing on the coffin and pushing his lens into the faces of the relatives. Intrusive one would assume, but he is consoling and sharing the emotions.

    I love his motto: “I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” He lives up to it.

    From a photographers POV “War Photographer” is a jewel because the film team put a little video camera on Nachtwey’s camera and a VCR in his backpack. So you see his view and can follow every movement of the camera. He forbid the team to follow him on the more dangerous shootings because he would feel responsible for them and wouldn’t take the risks he normally takes. And they are huge.

  3. I know, there was the scene were he was following the old woman and taking photos of her and (hate to put it like this) not letting her get any privacy. That takes quite a bit of human understand which unfortunately most of us don’t have. 🙁

    The newer documentary (which was done by PBS) is called “The War in Iraq, Through the Photographers’ Eyes.” I didn’t find it has powerful or moving as “War Photographer”, but it was still pretty interesting to watch. I think the problem with the newer docu is that they talk to much were as in WP the images really take you away.

  4. Yup, I’ve already seen these pictures… They are impressive, and me myself have had tbc 5 years ago… not that extremely wild strain, lucky me!
    We have to be aware that this is another side of globalization; diseases once extinct in the developed countries are now spreading back…

    We in developed countries should be caring about every person in this world of us, shouldn’t we?

  5. And even if we wouldn’t give a thought about the “third world”, we should do something about this. Breeding “Super Bugs” out of negligence is a bad idea – they make no difference about whom they use as their next host, first, second or third world inhabitant.

    Universal basic health care is necessary not only out of humanitarian reasons.

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