Screening: War Zone Diary

Screening Monday 4th June, 2007

NBC News Senior Middle East Correspondent and Beirut Bureau Chief Richard Engel’s War Zone Diary is a rare and intimate account of the everyday realities of covering the war in Iraq.

In early 2003, Engel was a freelance reporter who snuck into Iraq only to find that almost all of the major news organizations were pulling their people out. As he began his reporting, he kept a video diary with his own small camera to record his observations about his difficult living conditions, his personal security measures, and how the Iraqis were reacting to the arrival of American troops and the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

As an NBC News correspondent, Engel reports for “NBC Nightly News,” “Today,” and MSNBC. In this hour, he gives a graphic and unpolished view from the war zone, both living and working with Iraqis and embedding with U.S. troops.

War Zone Diary shows the physical, emotional, and psychological toll the war has taken on Iraqis, the troops and Engel. In the four years of filming, Engel has survived bombings and kidnapping attempts and has seen colleagues and friends injured, kidnapped, or killed by insurgents. At one point in War Zone Diary, Engel says he may even be recording his “own obituary.”

In many ways, Engel’s story reflects the transformations the war itself has taken over the past four years.War Zone Diary includes gripping, emotional footage and interviews with other correspondents and U.S. troops, in addition to Engel’s personal accounts. Richard Engel, fluent in Arabic, takes the audience on his journey through his most exciting days and darkest moments covering this fast changing and vitally important conflict.