A Private War Biography

TIFF Review: ‘A Private War’

September 15, 2018Ben MK

The life of a war correspondent is one fraught with indescribable danger, where death can come at any moment, whether it be from a bullet or an IED. However, far be it for that to deter Marie Colvin, who risked her life repeatedly over the 26 years she spent covering conflicts from Sri Lanka to Syria.

In A Private War, director Matthew Heineman and star Rosamund Pike give viewers some insight into Colvin's mind and answers the question: why would someone want to put their life at risk to write about something like war? Chronicling the 13-year span leading up to Colvin's 2012 assignment in Homs, Syria, the film follows Colvin (Pike), as she travels from war-torn location to war-torn location, losing the sight in her left eye, dealing with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and gaining a photographer and a friend in Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) along the way.

Thoughtfully told and bolstered by an impeccably strong performance from Pike, A Private War underscores the important role played by journalists, especially during wartime. For without people like Marie Colvin — people who are fearless in their efforts and tireless in their conviction — the world would be a much darker, much more grim place.

A Private War makes its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 46 min.

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