Witnessing the ravages of war and conflict, and the aftermath of violent uprisings, are circumstances that most people shun or avoid—but for news photographers and camerapeople, it provides them a conduit to spotlight injustices and turmoil for a global audience. Five women—Mary Rogers, Cynde Strand, Margaret Moth, Maria Fleet and Jane Evans—were pioneer camerapeople that were active participants in this dangerous line of work. Their resilient coverage of tumultuous events around the world—from the Arab Spring Uprising to upheavals in Lebanon and Iraq—provided a necessary window into how our world was changing, and their courageous access into these circumstances brought transparency and accountability to the forefront.
In Heather O’Neill’s insightful documentary No Ordinary Life, we witness the impressive accomplishments and scope of work of five brave journalists who placed themselves on the frontlines of global conflicts and precarious situations in order to “come back with the goods”—and present the objective truth, no matter the circumstances. O’Neill commandingly weaves starkly dramatic behind-the-scenes footage of these women’s precarious assignments, with their revealing testimonies and recollections of the risks they took—and the camaraderie they created amongst one another, amidst a sexist and male-driven industry. —Jose Rodriguez
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Heather O’Neill is an Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She produced the feature documentary, Help Us Find Sunil Tripathi, which screened at the HotDocs International Film Festival. With CNN Presents, the award-winning documentary series, she directed and produced projects around the world.