This masterpiece is one of the finest films ever made about how individual looks at war. It's born a very micro but also a very macro examination based on the very real award-winning journalist and war correspondent Marie Colvin. This brave human ultimately lost her life in 2012 in Syria, but suffered the psyche wounds one would expect when trapped in a"private" view of man's death and destruction of fellow man. A Private War will resonate with the viewer long after the final credits have faded.
Rosamund Pike's Oscar-worthy performance shakes you to the core. We feel her pain and frustration as her heroic, but life-threatening journeys consume her every waking moment as she pursues the truth in both her actions and words. She literally lived in the middle of every conflict she covered and so afforded her the profound truths that her newspapers, periodicals, and columns covered for the rest of the world to ingest. Whether her words struck the right chord in each individual reader depended on that individual's view of the world.
As Marie Colvin once so brilliant wrote:
"Our mission is to report these horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice. We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery, and what is bravado? Journalists covering combat shoulder great responsibilities and face difficult choices. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price."
And for me, that quote is the essence of of the critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman's adaptation of her life. Quite a remarkable piece of filmmaking for a feature film debut. Kudos to writer Arash Amel, as well. Based on a Vanity Fair profile from 2012, where much of the writer Arash Ambel based this script, we see how her fearless and rebellious spirit cost her loving relationships, created mental health issues aka PTSD, cost her an eye, and ultimately her life. The film also depicts the journalistic relationship Miss Colvin had with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan).
This harrowing but thoughtful movie should not be missed.