One of the most important films of Marcel Ophuls' career has also been the least seen until now. Shot primarily in Sarajevo in 1993, during the siege of the former Yugoslavian city, The Troubles We’ve Seen is a exploration of the ethical challenges of war reporting, in which Ophuls examines attitudes toward war in the Western media, and in the societies they inform. The 243-minute documentary interlaces stark realities of combat with mordantly hilarious references to Hollywood fantasy-versions of war, and includes over 50 interviews with some of the world’s leading journalists, commentators, historians, newscasters and others. Among those appearing in the film are CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Walter Cronkite, The New York Times’ John Burns, legendary war correspondent Matha Gellhorn (once married to Ernest Hemingway), French philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy, and then-Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, currently on trial for war crimes.
Following its debut at Cannes, The Troubles We’ve Seen screened at the New York Film Festival in 1994, where it was hailed by the press as "engaging," and "engrossing," Film Comment included the title high on its list of 150 Top Unreleased Foreign Films of the 1990s.
With Iraq, Afghanistan and terrorism on the nightly news, the questions Ophuls poses about the role of media in war have become dinner-table conversation in America. Every scene in this film is as timely and provocative as it was a decade ago.
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