There was a time when newscasts were the place to get the news of the day. They were hosted by trusted individuals, who felt like family for some of us. Out of this group the most popular ones were Chet Huntley, David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite. When they retired a new breed came to the forefront, with names like Rather, Jennings and Brokaw. For me they were the last keepers of an era where news was meant to inform, not garner ratings. I will say I have the utmost admiration for today’s news reporters who risk their reputation, career or possibly life to get to the heart of a story. In this Sundance Film Festival winning documentary Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation magazine and author of the bestseller book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army; traveled to Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia to put the pieces together of a covert operation that led to collateral damage. In the movie there was a film clip of a television show where talk show host Jay Leno asked Jeremy why he was still alive and I felt the same way. It was nerve wracking to see Jeremy go into some of the most troubling hot spots in the world. Watching his reporting process was fascinating; he looked like a jigsaw puzzle master as he tried fitting together snippets of news. Some scenes did seem as if they were used for a dramatic effect, but the pacing remained consistent. There were some interviews Jeremy conducted that were unbelievable to me, regarding his ability to sit down and talk to those individuals. Considering the topic I felt there could have been more suspenseful and engaging scenes. If for no other reason, I have to give Jeremy credit for his courage in traveling to such places. Compared to him it is almost silly that I am afraid to go into some parts of my own city. There were several graphic scenes with blood.
2 1/2 stars