Sunday, April 24, 2011

'Restrepo' Director Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya

Seems like the only time I post here nowadays is just when I have bad news. I've held this back for a number of days, hoping that it isn't true, but it is, so here: Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya on Wednesday, along with Chris Hondros of Getty Images, when they were photographing in the beseiged city of Misurata, Libya.

Though I have yet to watch Restrepo - the documentary that he co-directed with Sebastian Junger chronicling a platoon's time in the the Korengal Valley, one of the deadliest cities in Afghanistan - I have read Sebastian Junger's book, War (and reviewed it in my personal blog). Tim is mentioned throughout and it is really difficult to connect this person in the book with the reality of him being dead. I can't imagine what it must be like for his family and friends, but as an admirer of his work, I feel so saddened by this.

There have been an outpoouring of sympathy and memories from the war journalism community, and I am at least glad for the attention that a combat zone is getting, even if it's because of the reporters. After all, it's what these men and women who work in these dangerous situations want.

From Tim's friend and co-director, Sebastian Junger:
You had a very specific vision for your work and for your life, and that vision included your death. It didn’t have to, but that’s how it turned out. I’m so sorry, Tim. The conversation we could have had about this crazy stunt of yours! Christ, I would have yelled at you, but you know that. Getting mad was how we kept each other safe, how we kept the other from doing something stupid.

From Greg Campbell, Chris' best friend who'd saw him the week before:
We talked about this special breed of journalism he was drawn to and how important it was to bear witness to atrocities that take place far most of the world's eyes. He believed entirely in the power of photojournalism to change the world, to enlighten hearts and minds, and to bring justice and possibly comfort to those who are suffering the most. His deepest commitment, from the very beginning, was to honor those he photographed and bear witness to their struggles.

Finally, CJ Chivers of The New York Times attended the memorial service in Benghazi, Libya,and the Times posted his account of the service. During the ceremony, Marc Burleigh of AFP read from Gustave Mahler, 9th Symphony, 4th Movement:
Often I think they’ve gone outside!
Soon they will get back home again!
The day is lovely! Don’t be anxious,
They’re only taking a long walk,
They’ve only gone out before us,
And will not long to come home again.
We’ll catch up with them on yonder heights
In the sunshine!
The day is fine on yonder heights!

1 comment:

Jana said...

I have been reading all the stuff like the NY mag thing I sent you and the stuff Bill Keller has done on their death ... Mainly this on:

I loved it. Made me very sad and made me admire them all even more.