War Feels Like War

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War Feels Like War
War feels like war.jpg
Directed byEsteban Uyarra
StarringP.J. O'Rourke
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Esteban Uyarra
Original release
  • 2004 (2004)

War Feels Like War is a 2004 British documentary film. It was broadcast in the United States as part of the P.O.V. series. For three months, Spanish filmmaker Esteban Uyarra followed five reporters and photographers from Denmark, Norway, Poland, and the United States in Iraq. These journalists circumvented military media control to get access to a different perspective on the Iraq War. As the Coalition of the willing swept into Iraq, some journalists in Kuwait decided to travel in their wake, risking their lives to discover the impact of war on civilians.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

The journalists include best-selling author P.J. O'Rourke, who was working for ABC Radio, as well as reporters and photographers for news operations ranging from Poland's Radio Zet to Stephanie Sinclair, a photographer for the Chicago Tribune.[6]


In the film, journalist crews are first seen trying to avoid being penned up in Kuwait City as the war is about to break. Other journalists repeatedly try to get through military zones to capture what's happening.

Once these journalists make it into Iraq, they capture troops at their frazzled ends, cussing. A journalist described a Scud missile "whizzing" by is artfully juxtaposed with a shot of a string of photographers taking a "whiz".

The reporters themselves wrestle with grisly images and the effect it may have on their humanity. One journalist admits she felt, "I'm in over my head," but presses on. Later, she says of a tragic scene she has just witnessed, "If that doesn't affect you, you should find something else to do. That shit should always affect you." The U.S. later bombs the Baghdad hotel where these journalists are staying. After the gunfire stops, a Polish journalist files a radio report that says, "It doesn't look good," adding that a Marine has told him "too many people still have weapons."[1][7][8]

Awards and film critics' views[edit]

War Feels Like War was awarded Honourable Mention for Best International Documentary by the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[4][9][10]

In addition, it was shortlisted for the Silver Wolf Competition in the 2003 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and was awarded the Jury Prize at the 2004 MovieEye Festival in Moscow.

Esteban Uyarra was also nominated in the Best Newcomer category in the 2004 Grierson British Documentary Awards.

The New York Times wrote:

Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik stated:

David Kronke of The Daily News of Los Angeles states:

M.S. Mason of the Christian Science Monitor states:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c James, Caryn (21 May 2004). "The War's Dark Side: Filling In the Blanks". The New York Times: 1.
  2. ^ "War Feels Like War". pbs.org. Retrieved 2006-09-05.
  3. ^ "Film: The Five Best Revivals". The Independent: 25. 29 January 2005.
  4. ^ a b Gibb, Lindsay (September 2004). "Hot Docs (4/23-5/2/04)". Canadian Business and Current Affairs Take One. 13 ; (46): 50–51. ISSN 1192-5507.
  5. ^ Logue, Heather (22 September 2004). "Counting the Fall Fish". Seattle Weekly: 15.
  6. ^ a b c Zurawik, David (6 July 2004). "Seeing war on their own; 'P.O.V' reports on reporters; TV Preview". The Baltimore Sun: 1D.
  7. ^ Catlin, Roger (6 July 2004). "CBS Gets Real With Fifth 'Amazing Race,' 'Big Brother'". Hartford Courant (Connecticut).
  8. ^ a b Kronke, David (4 July 2004). "The Daily News Watch-O-Rama; Highlights And Lowlights Of The Coming TV Week". The Daily News of Los Angeles: U11.
  9. ^ Tillson, Tamsen (3 May 2004). "War is Hot Docs touchstone". Daily Variety: 15.
  10. ^ Vlessing, Etan (5 April 2004). "Hot Docs! putsfocus on int'l war, terror". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Mason, M.S. (2 July 2004). "Tuning in: On TV this week". Christian Science Monitor: 16.

External links[edit]