Jim: The James Foley Story (2016)
Directed by Brian Oakes
Written by Chris Chuang, Heather MacDonald, Brian Oakes
This is the story of the life, career, and infamous death of photojournalist James Foley. Told by the friends, colleagues and family members who knew him best.
This is an emotional look into the career of James Foley (E-Team), a photojournalist working in some of the most dangerous areas of the world. The documentary was directed by Brian Oakes (Abstract: The Art of Design), James Foley’s childhood friend. The story was written by Oakes, along with Heather MacDonald (Damages) and Chris Chuang (Becoming Warren Buffett). The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “The Empty Chair”, written by Sting (Cold Mountain) and J. Ralph (Chasing Ice).
For many, James Foley might best be known for the very gruesome way in which he died. His execution, at the hands of a terrorist, got the attention of the entire world. Most people never connected him with his work in war zones around the globe. This documentary doesn’t just show his accomplishments in the field, but also the people who loved him. His fellow journalists and family recount the way he lived his life and the way he treated the people around him. The film also details the circumstances of his abduction and death at the hands of ISIS.
This film does not show his death. This is important to note since it should not, in my opinion, be seen by anyone. The documentary feels almost like an extended eulogy. This is essentially a celebration of life, combined with a tragic story. The interviews are honest, and the conclusions are left to the viewers. Overall, it’s one of the better documentaries I’ve seen this year. I give this one 3.7 out of 5 stars.