This film is an act of spiritual faith -- an eloquent, deeply felt meditation on the nature of compassion.

Edward Guthmann

CHICAGO TRIBUNE Oct 20.2005 17:24
Watching War Photographer, you come to believe that Nachtwey hates the wars he shows and empathizes with the victims he reveals.

New York Magazine Sep 26.2004 16:32
"A great photojournalist and a genuine hero!"

Variety Sep 26.2004 16:13
"An instant classic."

Time Out NY Sep 26.2004 16:09
"This is as close to being inside a photojournalist's mind as it gets."

NEW YORK TIMES Sep 26.2004 15:11
"A quiet, engrossing film."

Armenian News Service Nov 17.2003 07:06
Natchwey documents the wars through the eyes of those suffering it...
Respect and Admiration.

Janet Pang May 14.2003 10:32
I'm touched by his professionalism.

Chung Yuen Yan May 09.2003 18:40
Thank you for giving me the chance to watch this documentary. It's indeed very educational in telling the world of the issue that people forgot.

Highly recommended for educational purpose.

May Peace on Earth and Justice be done.

A worthy tribute to a man and his colleagues who risk their lives to bring us the true story of the world.

Jeffrey M. Anderson

FILM FREAK CENTRAL Feb 23.2003 14:13
Uplifting as only a document of the worst possibilities of mankind can be, and among the best films of the year.

Walter Chaw

TV GUIDE'S MOVIE GUIDE Feb 23.2003 14:11
Frei assembles a fascinating profile of a deeply humanistic artist who, in spite of all that he's witnessed, remains surprisingly idealistic, and retains an extraordinary faith in the ability of images to communicate the truth of the world around him.

Ken Fox

ONE GUY'S OPINION Feb 23.2003 14:08
A film at once depressing and uplifting--depressing in terms of the sad, often horrifying subjects of Nachtwey's photographs but uplifting in terms of his commitment and integrity.

Frank Swietek

Dallas Morning News Feb 23.2003 14:04
It's as close as we'll ever come to looking through a photographers's viewfinder as he works.

William Snyder

Chicago Sun-Times Sep 23.2002 18:01
By Bill Stamets

The most powerful scene in Frei's film was shot in an above-ground sulfur mine in East Java by one of his micro cameras attached to a short rod on Nachtwey's camera. Frei's camera aims back and shows Nachtwey. Billowing white clouds of blinding, choking smoke envelope him and the miners. In this toxic hell, they keep working and he keeps shooting. It's a testament to a martyr for truth.

M Movies Sep 23.2002 17:57
By Michael Wilmington

Watching "War Photographer," you come to believe that Nachtwey hates the wars he shows and empathizes with the victims he reveals. That's what makes him such a valuable witness -- and what makes Frei's film such disturbing and often damning testimony.

AL JADID Jul 18.2002 11:54
Chasing Peace through Horrors

By Judith Gabriel

"War Photographer" portrays a committed, almost shy man, who moves with agility and care through the scenarios he is recording. The musical score emphasizes the dignified yet urgent nature of the subject matter, and despite the images of horror and tragedy, the film is a work of somber beauty.

TV GUIDE'S MOVIE GUIDE Jun 22.2002 15:29
Frei assembles a fascinating profile of a deeply humanistic artist who, in spite of all that he's witnessed, remains surprisingly idealistic, and retains an extraordinary faith in the ability of images to communicate the truth of the world around him.

Ken Fox

FILM THREAT Jun 22.2002 15:25
Intriguing Oscar-nominated documentary.

Phil Hall

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER Jun 22.2002 15:23
Frei provides a keenly observed, amply illustrated portrait of the man and his not exactly comfy chosen profession.

Michael Rechtshaffen

VILLAGE VOICE Jun 20.2002 20:06
Nachtwey is a one-man human rights watch!

Jessica Winter

New York Times Jun 19.2002 22:32
Witnessing the Witness

Looking Over a Shoulder at War's Deprivation

In some ways Mr. Frei's portrait is exceptionally intimate, allowing us almost literally to see the world through Mr. Nachtwey's eyes.

Mr. Nachtwey has, for most of his working life, exposed himself to the very worst of humanity and at the same time retained an almost idealistic sense of purpose, based on his faith that documenting war is a small, partial but indispensable step toward its eventual eradication.

Mr. Frei's quiet, engrossing film is a sad and stirring testimony to this vision and to the quiet, self-effacing heroism with which Mr. Nachtwey has pursued it.

A.O. Scott

TIME OUT New York Jun 19.2002 18:23
Made you look

Through his graphic, heartwrenching images, photographer James Nachtwey opens our eyes to the horrors of war.

Photojournalist James Nachtwey shoots violence as if the telephoto lens were never invented.

He steps gingerly into war zones, often getting within spitting distance of some of recent history's most horrifying atrocities. Then he slowly composes his shot and waits for the perfect moment to click the shutter. It's as if he were photographing a rose bush.

Peter Indergand, a cinematographer with as much nerve and intuition as Nachtwey, follows the lensman into scenes of devastation in the Ramallah, Kosovo and Indonesia.

This is as close to being inside a photojournalist's mind as it gets.

Elizabeth Barr / Steven Boone

New York DAILY NEWS Jun 19.2002 18:10
Frei's you-are-there approach gives the photos startling immediacy!

Many journalists risk their lives in an uphill battle to record - and wake people up to - the crueler aspects of human events.

In fact, "War Photographer" makes a case for the combat journalist as soldier.

Jami Bernard

NEW YORK MAGAZINE Jun 19.2002 18:07
Terrible Beauty

A tiny videocam strapped to James Nachtwey's camera gives "War Photographer" an astonishing intimacy with an artist determined to show the world hell's many faces.

Instead of the cynical, chain-smoking buccaneers we're accustomed to from fiction films like Under Fire, Nachtwey has a cool, almost Zen-like deliberateness. He regards his photographs as an antidote to war, and himself as an antiwar photographer.

What's remarkable is how often the photographer's subjects allow themselves to be caught on film; it's as if they understood implicitly that Nachtwey was there not only to agitate for reform but to memorialize their agony.

His thoughts about how photography has the power to abolish war may provoke our sweet condescension, but how can you condescend to a man who has seen all that he has and still feels this way? Nachtwey clears the cynicism right out of you.

He makes you realize that deep inside righteousness can be found a tough beauty.

Peter Rainer

LA WEEKLY Jun 19.2002 17:53
A gripping portrait!

LOS ANGELES TIMES Jun 19.2002 17:51
Documenting the Fallout of Battle

Swiss documentarian Chistian Frei's acclaimed "War Photographer" is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man, James Nachtwey, who has been hailed as the world's greatest war photographer.

A slim, silver-haired man of 52 with the looks and presence of a movie star, Nachtwey has been determined to serve the victims of battle and poverty the world over. A man of quiet dignity and compassion, he does not exploit his subjects but rather expresses their plight through his pictures, which are astonishing documents of terrible events and deeds.

THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (London) Jun 19.2002 17:45
A unique insight! We see what he sees as he presses his shutter button as bullets fly around him!

Variety May 30.2002 15:06
Frei's masterstroke is immediately apparent, as he has a micro-camera attached to Nachtwey's 35 mm camera body. It allows us to see Nachtwey from a bug's p.o.v., if that bug were clinging to his camera and watching the lenser's every subtle move. More than a mere device, this is a completely fresh way of capturing a photographer going about his work.

An instant classic of its kind, docu, which opens Stateside in June, should find ready buyers for prestige docu-friendly slots internationally.

Robert Koehler

Synopsis IDFA Nov 19.2001 14:27
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Christian Frei

The motto is by war photographer Robert Capa: ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’ War photographer James Nachtwey has been close enough for
twenty years. Director Christian Frei followed him for two years on the job. Nachtwey is in Kosovo when the houses are
still ablaze; in Indonesia, where a family of beggars lives among the railway lines; and in Palestine, between the teargas and the young stone throwers.

The spectator gets a unique perspective of Nachtwey’s work thanks to the miniature film camera Frei attached to Nachtwey’s photo camera. Now, the spectator can watch and think along as the shutter clicks, while Nachtwey’s breathing can be heard. The spectator becomes the camera. The difference from the angle of Frei’s camera, a few meters behind Nachtwey, is one of the ways in which film and photography are compared.

Apart from shots of Nachtwey’s activities, Frei extensively shows the heart-rending pictures that are the result. In interviews, colleagues describe Nachtwey’s remarkable personality. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour calls him a single-minded loner. Nachtwey’s calmness and circumspection, rather unusual for a war photographer, reflect the inner confidence and conviction that allow him to persevere with this tough job. He speaks softly and without any cynicism and does not drink with colleagues. At home, his grey hair gives him the appearance of a retired professor, but the next moment he is
biting the dust again, in the middle of a war zone.

His photographs are not a purpose, but a means. In the end, the war photographer is an anti-war photographer.