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27

FRIDAY

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough” is the combat photographer’s motto. So filmmaker Christian Frei put the audience just millimeters away from James Nachtwey’s viewfinder in War Photographer, his documentary about the acclaimed U.S. photojournalist’s career. Frei used specially designed microvideo cameras mounted on Nachtwey’s still cameras to show viewers what the veteran war correspondent saw as he snapped pictures of grieving widows in Kosovo, machete-scarred survivors in Rwanda, and victims of mob violence in Jakarta. To make this 2001 film, Frei followed Nachtwey through two years of assignments in Indonesia, Kosovo, and the Middle East, as well as to his home base in New York and to the offices of admiring photo editors in Germany. Nachtwey seems as cool as the ECM label-derived score, but he’s not diffident. His work, he says, is a protest of the inhumanity he documents. The film screens at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)