Shooting Under Fire” vividly captures the reality of what might strike most as one of the world’s least desirable jobs — photojournalist in the de facto war zones of Israel and Palestine. Though occasionally slick and dynamic to a fault given the oft-grim content, docu generally avoids thrill-seeking or glorifying while portraying the risks undertaken by Reuters’ Jerusalem photo chief Reinhard Krause and his staff of both Jews and Arabs. Pic exists in both a German-language 43-minute cut and English-language 73-minute one. Though specialized theatrical is possible, primary exposure will be broadcast.
Mild-mannered Teuton Krause, no stranger to global conflicts, articulates the mix of caution, hubris, local connections, professional distance and emotional instinct necessary to operate as a lenser in such high-stress circumstances. Military checkpoints and daily crises, including two suicide bombings whose aftermaths we witness, ratchet up the danger-level — one snapper almost loses both legs in an explosion. There are also ethical questions of exploitation and culpability, as when the presence of photogs is said to encourage young Palestinian stone-throwers. Editorial style verges on hyperbolic, but camerawork is fearlessly immediate. Some imagery is extremely gruesome.