Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photojournalist/filmmaker Tim Hetherington killed in Libya

It is with a heavy heart that I pass the word along of Tim Hetherington's death. The photojournalist was killed while covering the civil war in Misrata, Libya today (details are still being sorted out).

Hetherington found acclaim for his Oscar nominated documentary Restrepo, but he was much more than this to so many people. I only know him largely because of this work so I encourage everyone to search the news articles and read the posts so many colleagues, friends and perhaps family members have written. While death happens everyday, Hetherington's strikes a bit closer to home for journalists out in the field.

As I said, there are countless stories already posted with much more depth and eloquence then I could ever muster, but I will always remember him as the man who covered war by looking at the people- both soldiers and civilians- from beginning to end. I met Hetherington when he premiered Restrepo last year. The conversation was quite brief and I'm sure he forgot me two seconds after I walked away, but I will remember him for his film and his earnest desire to make a war documentary that was apolitical. Restrepo had something for everyone, but it was always for the soldiers he covered. Their strengths and weaknesses, passions and flaws- nearly all of their humanity was on display. Because of this it has become and will be the quintessential war film in my eyes.

Hetherington recently released a short that premiered at Full Frame titled 'Diary' about how physically, mentally and emotionally difficulty it is jumping in and out of war zones. It is with great regret that I wasn't able to catch this film and see one last look at a man who captured the big picture of events one photo at a time.

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