Rory Peck Awards 2016 The Firing Line


Rory Peck Awards 2016

Yalda Hakim looks at reports by freelance camera journalists honoured at the 2016 Rory Peck Awards, including terror and heartbreak amidst the ruins of Aleppo.


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in this year's Rory Peck Awards. Firing line meets the people behind

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the camera. Viewers may find some of the images in this film upsetting.

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Some of the most powerful images of the year. Often filmed in difficult

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demote and dangerous places. -- remote. But what of the people who

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took these pictures? How did they do it? Why did they do it? And what has

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been the impact on them personally? Each year we go behind the camera

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and speak to the men and women who capture and bring us some of the

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most important stories of our times. Often in extremely difficult

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circumstances, and under great personal strain. We will hear from

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the freelance video journalists nominated to the Rory Peck Awards.

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This year, one thing featured in all three categories of the awards. The

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great and often desperate migration of thousands of people, fleeing

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conflict and terror and seeking a better life elsewhere. The awards

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were founded in the name of Rory Peck, a British freelancer, who was

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killed in crossfire in Moscow in 1993. His memory lives on through

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the trust which works on behalf of freelance camera crews. First up,

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the News category. This photographer from Aleppo reveal

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the heart-wrenching story of one family whose lives were devastated

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by the Syrian conflict in a single day. Three brothers, Mohamed,

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Mahmoud and Marco Salustro were playing at a friends house when a

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bomb dropped, end up in hospital where doctors were at work. She then

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captured the harrowing story of the death of six-year old Mohammed and

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the immediate impact on his distraught family. A rare and

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Intermec limbs into what thousands of families have gone through in

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this city in the last few years. -- intimate glimpse. Rory Peck judges

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described the film as a fragile, delicate discrete story of human

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tragedy. It almost felt like one take, one shot, they said. It was

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her pictures told one simple story so tight.

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Waad Al Kateeb, who for safety reasons remained anonymous, believes

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that most deaths in Syria seem like numbers to the outside world.

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While Waad except that her own life is in danger, it is her family that

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worries her. In March 2015, a Saudi led coalition

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of Arabic and forces launched air strikes on Iranian backed rebel

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forces in Yemen, as they moved to seats the port of Aden -- sees the

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port of Aden, where the many president had taken refuge. Three

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months later, Nabil Hassan was embedded with the local anti- rebel

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militiamen from the popular resistance committees as they sought

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to recapture the city from the rebels. He was with them on the

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ground during this major offensive close to the front line, and a

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witness to the heavy fighting and intense shelling between the warring

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factions. Some of his most striking footage captures the devastating

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impact of the conflict for residents of Aden.

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As the Rory Peck judges said, we know there is a nasty, tragic war in

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Yemen, but we never see it. To see these images, and in particular the

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civilians caught in the crossfire, made this entry rare and

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outstanding. The seeming exodus of an entire

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population is how Will Vassilopoulos described the extraordinary events

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of Lesbos last year. Syrians of Lesbos last year. Syrians

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attempted to cross from Turkey to seek an new life in Europe. His

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images convey the desperation but also determination of people seeking

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refuge from war. It is the first time they stepped foot on European

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soil, and to them, it is the moment they have been waiting for, really.

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You can see it in their eyes, but they do know what to expect from now

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on, they don't know what will happen to them. Now, filming this situation

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is really bizarre because you are in the middle of this event, which I

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have not seen any video out there, they can do it justice, of how it is

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to be a journalist in the middle of this. The sounds, the images, even

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the smells, you don't know where to look, where to shoot, how long to

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stay on an image. The judges praised will's Ivor detail in his filming.

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The anguish in other's eyes, the warming of the frozen man's feet,

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which helped to highlight the humanity in each situation. --

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images. One of the things I want to do with my camera is film with the

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utmost respect towards my subject. I truly hope that in this film I

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betray the migrants and refugees in the most dignified way. Some of the

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most dramatic and distressing footage is shot at Greece's northern

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border with Macedonia. For me, watching this scene is again,

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watching the children being teargas, is something that will stay with me

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forever along time. Seeing them cry, seeing old people in the middle of

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all this, -- for a very long time. It will stay in my head forever

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along time. Amid such upsetting scenes, Will was able to find

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moments of hope as well. I believe that there is always a silver

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lining, even in the most miserable places. And these are the shots that

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I sought a child playing, a glorious sky, I think these sort of shots are

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what kept me sane. The road to Falluja is the first

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finalist in the news features category. After 18 months of careful

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negotiation with Iraq's leaked counterterrorism for scum at the

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Golden decision -- Golden division, Ayman Oghanna and Warzer Jaff got an

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unprecedented level of access as they thought to take back control of

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the province. There has not been a filmgoing deep into details of the

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villages, how to, you know, know who is ISIS, who is not, with the Golden

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division. They have not been something like that, so I think that

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is why we decided to go in. A standout sequence in the film does

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not involve fighting at all. But an attempt by the special forces in one

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village to find out which residents of the village had been with IS.

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There is one really tense, interesting scene, where the main

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antagonist gathers a group of young men outside a mosque, and they have

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this kind of Crucible type trial, almost, where the whole town is

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involved in identifying people who were IS fighters or collaborators.

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If you watch it, it is very tense interesting scene initially, no one

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is willing to oust one name the ISO of eight is, and as soon as someone

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start it is like opening of the floodgates, -- IS collaborators.

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Having the two camera is working on the same scene, managed to get a lot

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more scope and gravitas to think what was a very tense and

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interesting situation. Lottie Gammon's film expose and

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organise common network of Afghan led people smugglers who kidnapped

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migrated -- migrant travel through Macedonia, beat them and took their

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money. She and a reporter were set on their way by a tipoff from two

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victims, who later provided them with secret filming of whether

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migrants were held. Our film uncovered a kidnapping gang who

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systematically kidnapped refugees in Macedonia, two said -- two Syrian

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refugees from Aleppo Centre co-ordinates of the house, and that

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is how the film tabout. Using Google Maps and local journalist, they

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tracked down the house in that Macedonian countryside where people

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were imprisoned. It was very nerve racking finding that house because

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we had no idea of they were armed, as far as we knew they were a

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dangerous game, we did not know if we were going to be able to rescue

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anyone, if people were inside, we wanted to help them get out, and I

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think that was one of the hardest things, we knew that there were

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people inside a but we couldn't kind of burst the door open.

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Luckily the filmgoing out did lead to several raids and 22 people were

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arrested. 200 people were freed, so in the end was OK, that going into

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the village itself was nerve racking.

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The migration route through Libya was the setting for a winning entry

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in the news features category. Marco Salustro attempted to document the

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conditions of the Libyan side of the Mediterranean. He also found that it

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exerted on the Libyan government by European powers to halt migrations

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rose -- flows, had alarming consequences. The Libyan government

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tried to arrest black people, simply, just to show to the European

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politicians that they are dealing with the phenomenon on. In

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particular, the Libyan government started to contract militias to help

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deal with the migration flow, and one detention camps. -- and run

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detention camps. As well is the abuse and subhuman conditions

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covered in both the militia run and government run centres, the film he

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has remarkable testimony from people who have already endured horrific

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journeys to reach Libya from Eritrea, Somalia and sedan. --

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Sudan. Marco had to balance recording what

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happened in the camps with the risks his interviews posed for the

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migrants. Every award has consequences. They were punished for

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it or got punishment from the militia. There is a balance between

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the risk for them and the importance of the story.

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The first list in the Sony Impact Awards is the impact of the Ebola

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outbreak in South Africa, told through the perspective of five

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children who survived through the disease which had taken their family

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and friends. Filmed over four months, it followed the events in

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these children's lives, from the time the infection rate peaked in

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Sierra Leone, and showing the impact on their lives. There is a

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heartbreaking scene with the young Abu who returns for the first time

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to the home where his mother died and his father who had also died and

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where he lived with his family with his brother Abdul. And they are

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going through their old possessions, clearing out and getting ready to

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move to some new relatives. And if the process, they stumble across

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their mother's life savings. A cash horde, which has a life changing

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implication for them. It is a wonderful, heartwarming moment. And

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yet, the always' reaction is not one of unremitting joy, actually, what

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happens is that it turns to sadness. -- boys' reactions. That is because

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they realise in that moment how much they have lost as well.

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As the virus is brought under control and schools reopen, we are

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shown how the children come to terms with their loss as they start to

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rebuild their lives and look to the future. They are incredibly

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inspiring, the way they responded to the outbreak. The way they got along

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with life. That they accepted the tragedy. Without anger, actually.

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They just accepted it. Took it on the chin.

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Paul spent months in northern Syria securing unprecedented access to

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film with Jabhat al-Nusra link at the time with Al Qaeda. The result

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is a fascinating portrait of a group of suicide bombers. That is in sharp

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contrast with how Jabhat al-Nusra portrays themselves. The characters

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in this film have all too recognisable desires, interests, and

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self-doubt. Among the people we meet waiting for his turn on the list to

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undertake a suicide attack is a British convert who gradually doubts

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that pushing the button, the dugma, would be the right thing to do. What

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everyone who watches the film will agree on is that when I am talking

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with the British would be bomber, and he is talking about getting

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married, and I asked him if he still would be doing this operation of it

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in married, and you just have this... It is a beautiful three,

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four, five seconds, where he is not saying anything and you can see his

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mind, his brain, is still working. Have you talked to your wife about

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it? Yeah. And what does she say? SILENCE. At the end of the film, Abu

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decides not to go through with the attack. It makes me feel good. Both

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as a filmmaker, of course, and as a human being. Because, you can see

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that people can change their mind, and it is not just one direction. He

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wanted to do this operation. Now he has another, let us say, another

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life. He has a white. And when I was there he discovered that his wife

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was pregnant. -- wife. This was changing everything. He will still

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be a jihadi but he will not be that eager to press the button.

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In 2013, Marcel spent nine months in Aleppo, Syria, filming the life of

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the commander, his wife, and for children. In this second film he

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returned to follow the fortunes of the family after the capture of Abu

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Ali by Islamic State. Eventually, the family decided they had to

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leave. Every time I see this moment of them

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leaving their city, I almost started to cry. People do need to understand

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what they see, when they see the refugees in their own cities, they

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did not do this because they had a choice. They did not have a choice.

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Marcel documents their escape and watches them awaiting passage

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through Turkey. All the time they were grieving the loss of their

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husband and father left behind. All the way through the three years,

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coming back to the husband, leaving and losing the husband, for me, it

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became a symbol of leaving and losing my country, her identity, her

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everything. In Germany, the family are given good accommodation, school

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places, and are generally welcomed in their smalltown. The children

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settled well and adapted quickly, more quickly than their mother. The

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family is full of poetry. They have been very lucky. We have been lucky

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to follow them. That is it for me is year's edition

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of Firing Line, a year in which humans struggle to survive and

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sought rescue from conflict. These were each of the issues in the 2016

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Rory Peck Awards. Goodbye.

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Yalda Hakim looks at reports by freelance camera journalists honoured at the 2016 Rory Peck Awards, including terror and heartbreak amidst the ruins of Aleppo, the extraordinary migration of hundreds of thousands of people to Europe, and the plight of child survivors of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


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