Screening and Discussion
On Thanksgiving Day 2012, American photojournalist James “Jim” Foley was kidnapped in Syria and went missing for two years before the infamous video of his public execution sent shockwaves and introduced much of the world to ISIS. Jim: The James Foley Story, directed by close childhood friend Brian Oakes, tells the story of his life through intimate interviews with his family, friends, fellow journalists, and fellow hostages that share never-before-heard details of his captivity. Made with unparalleled access, this film is a harrowing chronicle of bravery, compassion, and pain at the dawn of America’s war with ISIS. “I made this film to carry on the stories that Jim needed us to know,” says director Brian Oakes. “It’s important that we understand the significant role of today’s conflict journalists and why they risk their lives to tell the world how bad it can be.”
Clare Gillis, one of Foley's journalist colleagues featured in the film, has been teaching courses on the contemporary Middle East, the refugee crisis, and medieval history at Marlboro since 2015. After receiving her doctorate in early medieval history in 2010, she worked as a journalist in the Middle East until returning to the US last year. She and Foley worked together in Libya and Syria and became close friends in 2011, when they were detained together in Libya by the Gaddafi regime. Clare will say a few words about the film and the situation in Syria and Iraq today and hold a Q&A following the film.