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Under Fire: Journalists in Combat: movie review

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The overriding question it poses: Why do these people continue to do what they do when it is clear that reporters, like soldiers, are now, in a paradigm shift, considered fair game by enemy combatants?

Feinstein has said in interviews that he believes the answer is in some measure genetic. "They have this drive that takes them back into conflict zones repeatedly and I believe to do that, you've got to have a certain biological predisposition," he told the Los Angeles Times.

The interviews in "Under Fire" certainly bear this out. Even those journalists who deny being "war junkies" come across as just that. Reuters photojournalist Finbarr O'Reilly talks about the need to "get into this war. You sort of resign yourself to the fact that you're probably going to get hurt and just hope that it isn't too bad when it happens."

CBC correspondent Susan Ormiston talks about the difficulty in wrenching herself away from her home to go on assignment. "The hardest part is the week before you go because you look at your children and you question why you go. Women never stop being a mother no matter where they go." She describes the surreal experience of being in an active combat zone while talking on the phone to her daughter about the Easter Bunny.

Asked if the war experience is different for women, she answers, somewhat defensively, "There are plenty of men who are fathers." But Christina Lam of The Sunday Times of London describes the special harassments of being a woman in a war zone, especially in the Middle East, where being groped is a regular occurrence and baggy clothes are standard. "You develop sharp elbows," she says.

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