Director Yung Chang’s This is Not a Movie presents us with a simple, yet somewhat provocative title. A title that won’t make sense until the end of Chang’s documentary. You’ll never guess the subject, so I’ll just get right to it.
This is Not a Movie is a documentary about famed international journalist Robert Fisk. For more than forty years, Fisk placed his life in jeopardy, covering some of the most violent conflicts in recent human history, including Northern Ireland, the Balkans, and Syria. About a third of the film is Fisk’s life story dropped in various points throughout film as the remainder follows alongside Fisk as he does his real job.
“For more than forty years, Fisk placed his life in jeopardy, covering some of the most violent conflicts in recent human history…”
Fisk’s history is told through archival television footage, photos, interviews with Fisk and his colleagues. In a clearly bitter pill, he talks about his beginnings at The Times in London, where his reports were printed with minimal editing or censorship. This ended when Rupert Murdoch purchased the Times and began altering his stories and running misleading headlines. Today Fisk writes for The Independent, who (like other publications) struggles to survive in the new digital age.
The New York Times dubbed Fisk as “the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain.” He most famously covered events from the Iranian Revolution (1979), Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979), Iran-Iraq War (1980), US-Iraqi Gulf War (1991), War between Bosnia and Kosovo (1998), Post 9-11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Syrian Civil War as of late.
"…after forty years of name-calling, he no longer gives a damn."