Jim: The James Foley Story

Film, Documentaries
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
Jim: The James Foley Story

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friends, family, and colleagues of James Foley discuss his life and provide details of his time in captivity

This insightful, well-crafted and upsetting documentary recalls the life and death of James Foley, the freelance American video journalist murdered by Isis in Syria in 2014 after 21 months in captivity. Quite rightly, the film promises at the start not to show the beheading video that was widely circulated after his killing.

The filmmakers are more interested in who Foley was as a person, rather than the anonymous 40-year-old victim in an orange jumpsuit he finally became. We meet Foley’s loving, well-off New Hampshire family – parents, two brothers and a sister – who each generously explore their worries and confusion when Foley first decided to become a conflict reporter and was first kidnapped in Libya during the uprising there.

We meet Foley’s reporting colleagues from Libya and Syria, who give us an insight into the new culture of bold, lone-gun war correspondents who find solidarity (and protection ) in each other’s company. And we meet several of Foley’s fellow captives from Syria, who recall in detail the survival rituals they adopted to get through the brutality of their captivity and torture – including massages and improvised board games using the stones from dates.

Most moving are the accounts from hostages of how quietly and stoically Foley braved his kidnapping, and the compassion he showed to his fellow men in the same situation. Such an untimely, brutal and widely reported death as Foley’s can distort the inevitably more complicated life that came before, but this tribute goes a long way to giving him a voice and life again.

Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday July 8 2016
Duration:
113 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Brian Oakes
Screenwriter:
Chris Chuang, Heather MacDonald