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#TIFF19 Review: This is Not a Movie (TIFF Docs)

September 4, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

In this era of fake news, independent journalist Robert Fisk stands tall as a champion of finding the truth and standing up for those who are oppressed, even if it means going against the official narratives and holding those who hold power to account. With a long, storied history of being sent to war zones and documenting the conflicts in the Middle East, Fisk began his career as a reporter for The Times, starting with his coverage of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. But he left the paper over disagreements with Rupert Murdoch, who took over the publication and started pushing it farther towards the right, and moved to his current home at The Independent.

Fisk gets a career retrospective in the documentary This is Not a Movie, the latest from Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang. The film touches upon Fisk’s vital, on the ground reporting of Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, his ongoing coverage of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict, and his most recent controversy when he came under fire for questioning the mainstream media’s official narrative that sarin gas was used in the April 2018 attacks in Syria, reports that he claims were unsubstantiated but led to missile strikes on the country which threatened to further destabilize the region.

Fisk himself is an engaging subject as he recounts stories from his career, and the film also shows him in action as he interviews people on the ground in places like Syria and Palestine to get their first person perspectives on these conflicts. A must see for anyone who is interested in foreign affairs and fact-based reporting, This is Not a Movie is both an absorbing testament to the important role that journalists play in uncovering the truth, as well as a powerful anti-war film.

Robert Fisk in This is Not a Movie

Public Screenings:

Monday, September 9th – 7:00 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Wednesday, September 11th – 8:30 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

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