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Director Dawn Porter's Engaging 'The Way I See It' Encourages Us to Throw Shade

by Karin McKie
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Sep 18, 2020
'The Way I See It'
'The Way I See It'  

Presidential photographer and New York Times bestselling author Pete Souza shares his genesis from photojournalist to master Instagram troller in the engaging documentary "The Way I See It,", in theaters September 18.

Director Dawn Porter takes segments from Souza's book tour to frame the story of a mild-mannered professional fly on the wall who photographed Reagan, then Obama - presidents who respected the dignity of the office. Souza began to share his immense library of thoughtful and intimate images on social media after "eight years with no voice, no opinion." He didn't intend to be vocal but had to respond to every Trump lie maligning Obama with photographic evidence to the contrary, tagging his images with #throwshadethenvote.

In the film, Souza explains he felt called to speak out when he saw wrongs, and show how a president should behave. Better than many, he knows what can and should happen "in the room where it happens." Many Obama-era White House employees who are Souza fans join in to share alarm at how the free press is currently being assaulted.

Souza started in a military office during the Kennedy administration and first turned down the Reagan photography job because he wasn't a fan of the man. He was eventually lured in because "journalism is the first draft of history," and he liked being ready "for fleeting moments big and small." He also liked that photographs "stop time."

In 2004, Souza met Obama, a "freshman senator with a lot of presence," and traveled with him to Moscow, South Africa, and the future president's grandmother's village in Kenya, where Obama got tested for HIV.

Obama invited Souza to be the official White House photographer during his administration, and the two became inseparable. Souza felt obligated to be on duty at all times to document historical events both large and small. Although he had the ability to disappear, Souza also heralded Obama's arrival to any situation because he led the way, taking photos.

The interviewees noted that both men excelled in leadership and character, humility and empathy, and the doc shows the personal and historic importance of their intertwined relationship.

It's noted that there are few real-time Trump-era photos, and that most are staged, not truthful, like the rest of that presidency. Another says that we get the elected officials we deserve. All agree that it totally matters who's in the White House.

Watch the film, buy the book, remember decency, throw shade, then vote.

Karin McKie is a writer, educator and activist at KarinMcKie.com

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