by Matt Paley
Tim Hetherington died yesterday, killed by mortar fire in Misrata, where Libyan rebels are clashing with Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces. Hetherington was traveling with Chris Hondros, Guy Martin, and Michael Christopher Brown (photojournalists all) at the time of the attack. All four photographers were wounded; Hetherington died first, and Hondros soon after. At the time of my writing, Martin is reported to be alive, in very serious condition; Brown is wounded but stable.
Hetherington was best known for Restrepo (2010), an intimate, lyrical, harrowingly visceral experience of war, which he co-directed with his longtime collaborator Sebastian Junger. Restrepo is a beautiful film; it’s also a film I’ll be unable to watch again.
I point, instead, to Diary, Hetherington’s last film work, which he uploaded to vimeo only three months ago. A dream-like meditation on the disparate worlds Hetherington moved between and his struggle to unite them, Diary appears now as an affirmation of all that Hetherington lived, and lived for. I won’t say any more about the work – I feel uncomfortable doing so, tonight – except to ask you to watch it.
From Hetherington’s vimeo page:
‘Diary’ is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.
Camera + Directed by Tim Hetherington
Edit + Sound design by Magali Charrier
19′ 08 / 2010
May we possess, as Tim did, the courage to live life in extremes, eschewing comfort for that which drives us; the dedication to push ourselves and our mediums to the very limits; and the strength to document with compassion, reserving judgement. Rest in peace.