Movies about War Journalists

The following selection of movies is based on true events. 

22/09/2023 - 13:55
Source: recommends a selection of films about journalists whose information helped save hundreds of lives in real life.


Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the film "Profile" portrays the path of recruitment into a terrorist group. The plot revolves around a journalist who, as an experiment, creates a fake social media account and starts communicating with a charismatic potential recruiter from Syria. The main objective of the investigation is to understand how terrorists persuade women to join them voluntarily. However, daily interactions with the man lead to genuine affection, going beyond the confines of the experiment. "Profile" is filmed in the screenlife format, creating the effect of observing events from the screen of any device.

"Profile" is based on real events. Journalist Anna Erelle (a pseudonym, as she had to conceal her real identity due to threats) spent several months investigating the stories of women who had joined Islamic terrorists. She documented all her findings in the book "I Was a Jihadist: Investigation at the Heart of the ISIS Recruiting Machine." The journalist herself, of course, never succumbed to the charms of the recruiter, always aware that he was a cold-blooded killer.

The Great

The film "The Great" is a testament to the power of journalism. The protagonist of the movie is William Eugene Smith, a photojournalist who gained fame for his reports during World War II. In 1971, he is sent to Japan by Life magazine to cover an environmental catastrophe in the village of Minamata. Smith's photo reportage captures the horrifying consequences of mercury emissions by a local company on the residents. His photographs become a sensation, drawing widespread attention to environmental safety issues.

Working in Minamata becomes the last assignment in the career of William Eugene Smith. After publishing the photos, he is brutally beaten by the company's security guards responsible for the mercury discharge into the bay. Smith miraculously survives the assault. Later, he would say, "I did not take a single picture—good or bad—without paying for it in some way." During World War II, the photojournalist worked in Japan on the frontlines of the American advance and was wounded by mortar fire on Okinawa.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Concluding our list is the military comedy-drama "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot." The film is based on the book by journalist Kim Barker, "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan." In the movie, a forty-year-old American journalist embarks on her first serious assignment—to work in Afghanistan. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" humorously and cynically depicts the intricacies of the journalism profession and provides a fresh perspective on the American presence in the Middle East. The film delves not only into Afghanistan and Afghans but also into the experiences of foreigners who were there, their daily lives, and adventures.

The film was adapted from the book by journalist Kim Barker, "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan." In her book, Barker recounts her experiences covering the war in Afghanistan. She lived in New Delhi and Islamabad and also reported on the tsunami in Asia and the earthquake in Kashmir. Additionally, the journalist wrote about the issues of harassment she faced as a female correspondent.

These films showcase the dedication and bravery of war correspondents in bringing the truth to the world, often at great personal risk.



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