Doc Blog

- 2008
- 2007
- 2006

During the Q&A following the sold-out screening Saturday night of Richard Parry’s Blood Trail, which chronicles the entire (so far) 15 year career of acclaimed American war photographer Robert King, someone asked King (pictured above) to elaborate on the “addiction to violence” that seems to drive him and others in his field. After a thoughtful pause, a compassionate King responded, “It’s not really an addiction to violence. We’re certainly not addicted to seeing dead bodies. We do have addictive personalities, but as far as the work is concerned it’s an addiction to preserving a sense of history so that it can be told properly in years to come.”

It seems fair to say that such a mature response would have never occurred to King in 1992 when, fresh out of art school at the age of 24, he flew to Sarajevo on a $1,500 budget to launch his career as a war photographer. A career which, he hoped at the time, would lead him to a Pulitizer no later than age 29. The consensus among his newfound colleagues, to whom he looked greener than grass, was that the naïve but sincere young man would be lucky simply to live that long if he continued to pursue his dream. 

A decade and a half later, with a well-earned reputation as a reliable shooter and cover photos in The Guardian, Time, Newsweek and other major publications to his credit, King has come more to terms with the demons and dysfunctions that compelled him to, as one person says in the film, “take pictures of things that no one wants to see”. Indeed, one of the fascinating things about Blood Trail is that it allows us to bear witness to King’s confrontation with his demons as it happens – much like a good war photographer.

You’ll have another chance to catch Blood Trail this afternoon at 12:45pm at AMC 9 and Friday evening at 8:15 at AMC 3.