Documentary

Everyone a War Correspondent

What happens when every participant in a war is busy framing it while fighting it?

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"Point and Shoot"/Facebook

"Cellphone camera in one hand, AK-47 in the other." That's how Matthew VanDyke, the young American narrator and protagonist of Point and Shoot, describes fellow fighters in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. "Everybody wants something they can share on Facebook. Everybody tries to create their ideal image of how they want to be seen."

On some level, the documentary is an adventure story: A man triumphs over obsessive-compulsive disorder and finds new purpose when a motorcycle trip around Africa and the Middle East lands him on the forefront of anti-Gadhafi action. VanDyke is captured, put in solitary confinement for months, and freed only to promptly rejoin the fighting.

Yet the tension between VanDyke's roles as would-be documentarian and would-be freedom fighter also mirrors the conflict happening all around him. What happens when every participant in a war is busy framing it while fighting it?