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From Taking Photos to Taking Action: A TIFF Review of ‘The Way I See It’

September 10, 2020Ben MK

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and few people have as genuine an understanding of that old adage than photographer Pete Souza. Now, after a remarkable career highlighted by his extensive behind-the-scenes work documenting not one but two American presidencies, Souza is telling his own story — the way he sees it.

A former newspaper reporter who has served a combined 14 years as the Chief Official White House Photographer for both President Ronald Reagan and President Barack Obama, Souza is no stranger to knowing what it takes to capture that one perfect shot. And as director Dawn Porter shows in the documentary The Way I See It, not only have his experiences afforded him the rare opportunity to be a fly on the wall of history, it has also granted him a unique perspective on the position of the Commander-in-Chief — a perspective that Souza has felt compelled to share with the rest of the world since Donald Trump came into power.

Chronicling everything from Souza's work as a photojournalist to his post-White House endeavors as an outspoken voice against Trump and his policies, the result is a stirring look at the successes of one administration and, at the same time, a damning look at the failures of another.

The Way I See It screens under the Special Events and Planet Africa programmes at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 42 min.

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