Friday, April 29, 2016

How 'The Fixer' Broke Ian Olds and Dominic Rains

Inspired by a harrowing personal tragedy, The Fixer took an emotional toll on its cast and crew.

Western journalists can't just fly into war-torn countries and waltz around with Google Translate. Fixers, or local civilians recruited to help reporters, serve as a beacon of light in foreign waters. They utilize their network to pull favors and their intimate knowledge of the area to orient the journalists. Their translation can mean the difference between life and death—say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time and there can be no going back.

Ian Olds was making a documentary about the relationship between an Afghani fixer, Ajmal Naqshbandi, and a journalist on assignment from The Nation, Christian Parenti, when tragedy struck. While Olds was stateside raising funds to finish the film, Parenti and Naqshbandi were kidnapped by the Taliban. "[The United States] traded five Taliban prisoners for the western journalist, and he was freed," remembers Olds. "Our friend the fixer was beheaded and murdered by the Taliban. It was disgusting. Totally brutal and heartbreaking."

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from No Film School

from Mad Mohawk Films

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