ANOTHER NEWS STORY (12A)
ANOTHER NEWS STORY (12A)
Run time: 1h 24m
Director: Orban Wallace
Synopsis: What happens when the news cameras turn off? Another News Story reveals the action behind the cameras of news teams tasked with reporting the refugee crisis and turning it into breaking news.
Orban Wallace’s powerful and timely documentary goes beyond the statistics in the Syrian Refugee Crisis to try to ensure that we never become alienated from the profoundly human nature of the problem.
Another News Story takes a fresh view of what is often generally called the European refugee ‘problem’. The film opens in 2015 Greece as refugees arrive on the idyllic island of Lesbos and follows their trek through Hungary and Croatia and across Europe to a hoped-for sanctuary. The film chronicles a journey beset by physical deprivation and danger, bureaucratic and political obstacles and thousands of miles of uncertainty. As the columns of refugees wind their way across Europe they are accompanied by an army of fellow travellers – reporters, camera-operators, producers and news vans. One of this pack, debut British director Orban Wallace, turns his camera in a radical new direction – at the world’s 24-hour news gatherers in pursuit of the breaking story.
Another News Story paints an effective picture of the chaos, telling an alternative story which does not attempt to be objective or to show every possible opinion on the refugee crisis. All the resources of cinema – soundtrack, beautiful visuals, heart-breaking interviews and testimonials – are employed to capture a fleeting moment in the news cycle, where a story consumes the planet for a split second. In ninety minutes, Wallace manages to capture both the importance and redundancy of media coverage.
Highlighting Nick Ut’s famous, harrowing 1968 shot dubbed ‘Napalm Girl’ – showing journalists gathered round a badly burned Vietnam War victim – Wallace probes the morality of a photographer’s voyeuristic approach, showing us how a human connection with a subject can be far more powerful than a bird’s eye view.
The film does not shrink from documenting the Syrian Refugee horrors, showing the struggle of many who were constantly re-routed and turned away from different European borders. An estimated five million such refugees have been displaced from their country – an event still impacting on the whole world to this day.
Wallace attempts to move past the statistics and the ‘big picture’ to show us a small part of this vast movement, allowing us to connect and see past their standard depiction in the mainstream media. He highlights the very basic human concern to have a home safer than the one that has had to be abandoned and reminds us that these refugees desperately need help – they are not social and economic ‘problems’ to be debated and used to further political careers.
These points are not just relevant to the Refugee Crisis in Europe but are aslso connected to the ongoing immigration debates around the world. President Trump’s statements on the Syrian Refugees are used at key moments in the film, reminding us of the existence of an inhumane mind-set that decides the fates of millions of Syrians, Mexicans and other immigrant groups across the globe.
Images courtesy of WISLOCKI FILMS