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Photographer of War

Documentary Film
78 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Katrine A. Sahlstrøm
Boris Benjamin Bertram
Tobias Wilner Bertram
Tony Lauge Madsen, Adam Philp, Henrik Bohn Ipsen, Marcel Zyskind, Boris Bertram, Thøger Kappel
Charlotte Munch Bengtsen
Jan Grarup is a photographer with heart and soul. His pictures of war zones have made him famous. But even at home, in his house in Copenhagen, everything is dominated by the medium: “The lens has been in the American Civil War,” Grarup proudly announces when he welcomes the French star philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy for a portrait session. The film by Boris Benjamin Bertram meets Grarup at a moment when everything changes: The woman with whom he has four children has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Grarup, presumably an adventurer rather than a responsible father and partner before, must take care of things now. And when he goes to the frontline against the Islamic State in Iraq, he knows that he must come home safely because he owes it to his children.

Bertram’s film is both intimate and discreet. Jan Grarup opens up; he shows his tattooed body at the doctor or the hotel, he lets the filmmaker share, as much as possible, the daily life of a war photographer. Older, originally private recordings of past family life make the present-day scenes more urgent: Photography (and film) are truly revealed as a medium against death here.

Bert Rebhandl