“Kandahar Journals” is the story of a photojournalist who reflects on the events leading to his psychological transformation after covering frontline combat in Kandahar, Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010.
Photojournalist Louie Palu finds himself in the midst of body parts and the smell of burned flesh. On his first visit to Kandahar he is covering a suicide bombing. Arriving in the country as the war’s violence spirals out of control, Palu is unaware that he will spend the next five years covering the conflict. He begins writing a series of journals reflecting on his personal experience.
Co-directed by Louie Palu and Devin Gallagher, the documentary film explores Palu’s lifelong interest in understanding war as it connects to his family experience growing up and his formative years as a photographer. Over time Palu is psychologically changed by the war as the violence increases. The longer he shoots, the more he realizes the disconnection between the public back home, the war, and himself. By the end of the film he must come to terms with the impossibility of photography to convey the realities of war at all.
Blog post by:
Andrew Kurczak, Gallery Assistant