'The Way I See It' should be a film anthem to photojournalists
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'The Way I See It' should be a film anthem to photojournalists

It's a documentary that easily draws out emotions from Pete Souza's iconic photographs as if seeing them for the first time

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​Pete Souza (right with camera) walks side-by-side with President Barack Obama in a scene from Focus Features and MSNBC Films' documentary "The Way I See It."
Focus Features/MSNBC

There's that famous line that says "a picture is worth a thousand words." But in photojournalist Pete Souza's case, he doesn't let his photos alone do all the talking.

Souza, former Chief Official White House Photographer who had exclusive access to Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, is the star of documentary "The Way I See It." Not only is Souza a respected photojournalist, but he's also become a critical commentator on the political issues Americans face thanks to his Instagram following.

THE WAY I SEE IT - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters September 18 www.youtube.com

Based on Souza's New York Times #1 bestsellers, "Obama: An Intimate Portrait" and "Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents," the must-see documentary is an intimate film that digs up a treasure trove of feelings from nostalgia to reflection and regret.

Yes, this film will be seen as a very political film. But that shouldn't stop audiences from watching "The Way I See It" and keeping an open mind.

Politics aside, the film is a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at crucial historic moments from Reagan and Obama's administrations. Director Dawn Porter does a wonderful job of telling a story in chronological order using Souza's photos that bring up topics like Reagan's decisions on the Iran-Contra Affair and Obama's reactions and personal setbacks when news of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting broke.

One of the things that this film does extremely well is eliciting emotions from these photographs combined with the music, the video and the interviews. Even if viewers have seen the photos before, they'll be placed back to the day when they first saw the photos with all emotions included.

Most people probably have seen the photo called the "Situation Room," which shows Obama with his national security team receiving live updates on the operation that led to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death. But do you know why Obama was sitting in the corner? Why is that photo of Obama in the situation room different from a similar photo of President Donald Trump?

It's clear that Souza recognizes how easy it is for people to distance themselves from politicians, but he believes it's a right for all Americans to know what goes on inside the White House. That's why he's become a messenger who shares the importance of transparency in the White House like the access he saw with Reagan and Obama.

Hopefully when the film wraps up, viewers will find a revitalized outlook on the importance of photojournalism and Souza's work.

Score: 10/10

Focus Features and MSNBC Films' "The Way I See It" premieres in domestic theaters on Friday, September 18, 2020 and on MSNBC on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 10:00 p.m. EDT.

Contact Samantha Incorvaia at sincorva@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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