On 26 August 2018, the Phoenix in Leicester screened the film, ‘Another News Story’. Afterwards, John Coster facilitated a panel discussion followed by a Question & Answer session. The Phoenix, a well-known venue for avant-garde film screenings, is situated near St Georges retail park and is next to the Lidl supermarket and the Office Outlet stationery store near the city centre of Leicester. The Phoenix has close ties with De Montfort University and is used as a venue for the ‘Film Festivals’ module of the DMU’s Communication Arts undergraduate course. It also hosts various other courses on filmmaking and other related topics.
Interesting screening of @AnotherNewsStor https://t.co/Ln3Q5VLDWr at the @PhoenixLeic, part of the @JourneysFest, Q&A session with John Coster @citizenseye afterwards. Just another news story or a human tragedy created by humans? Compassion fatigue? pic.twitter.com/HgGNggvMyM
— Gerhard (@Gerhard_DMU) August 27, 2018
The film followed refugees up to the Hungarian border at the time when the right-wing government of Victor Orban closed its borders and erected fences. It showed harrowing scenes resulting in confused people having nowhere to turn and being stuck at the Hungarian border.
The film features emotional scenes of desperate and hungry refugees. It also shows camera crews from the various news networks hunting for footage and a good story.
A magnificent and epic documentary of historic proportions – Robert Temple, Film Critic
The contrast couldn’t be greater, on one side desperate refugees, old people, mothers and young children who left everything in Syria to find shelter from the merciless and relentless bombing campaign of the western alliance, and on the other side cold and calculating news crews for whom this is just another news story. Tomorrow they will fly out and report on something else.
There was one reporter who sided with the refugees and followed them. He couldn’t do his assigned job anymore. He was too touched by the unfolding human misery.
It is this contrast between the human misery and the calculating news crews in their routine and their hunt for a story which makes the film breaking the mould.
Personally, I felt put off being in the shoes of those news crews. I felt I couldn’t do that job. It felt cold and un-compassionate. The question has been raised if television audiences have come to the point of compassion fatigue, being relentlessly bombarded with streams of refugees along with their human misery. How long can one watch these heart-wrenching scenes on an almost daily basis before one switches off ones emotional response?
In that ‘Another News Story’ has succeeded to show the contrast between a news story and the actual human suffering on the ground, so to speak. All the best and all the worse in humanity is represented in this story.
I am passionate about human-interest stories, experienced in taking projects from development through to post-production – Director Orban Wallace
Director Orban Wallace’s film will ignite a burning discussion about journalism ethics. It will give as profound an insight into the refugee crisis as one will ever get. It is a magnificent and epic documentary of historic proportions.
The film critiques, Charlie Phillips, writes an interesting piece in the Guardian, which includes a number of links to films dealing with the refugee crisis.
Films about Europe’s migrant crisis run the risk of being artful and exploitative. Now directors are seeking to redress the balance – The Guardian, Charlie Philips