Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, October 7: THEO WHO LIVED
David Schisgall’s chronicle of an American journalist’s Al Qaeda kidnapping debuted at Jerusalem this Summer. It has also screened at GlobeDocs.
Soon after freelance journalist Theo Padnos crossed the Turkish border into Syria to report on the civil war in the Fall of 2012, he was detained by Al Qaeda operatives. Suspected of being a plant by the CIA, he endured nearly two years of captivity – initially tortured but eventually developing a strange rapport with his captors – before his release. Schisgall follows Padnos back to the Middle East where he confronts this life-changing experience by, essentially, re-living it for the camera. The result is unsettling, confrontational, and not altogether successful cinematically. While the film seeks to celebrate his resilience, it begs questions about how damaged Padnos became as a result of his imprisonment.