Powerful new documentary tells the story of Marie Colvin's killing in Syria

Powerful new documentary tells the story of Marie Colvin's killing in Syria
American reporter Marie Colvin, 56, was killed in 2012 when her apartment building in the rebel-held neighbourhood of Baba Amr was shelled by Syrian regime forces.
3 min read
30 August, 2018
Marie Colvin was 56 when she was killed by regime shelling in Homs. [Getty]

A new feature-length documentary due to be released in September tells the inspiring story of award-winning American reporter Marie Colvin, who was killed in Homs in 2012 by Syrian regime shelling.

Based on the book of the same name by photographer Paul Conroy, who worked with Colvin in Syria, Under The Wire recalls the fateful mission of a group of journalists reporting on the plight of Syrian civilians under siege in Homs.

Colvin, 56, was killed alongside French photographer Remi Ochlik when a rocket struck the ground by the front door of a makeshift media centre.

Conroy, Colvin and Syrian translator Wael al-Omar had travelled on assignment to the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs on an assignment for the Sunday Times.

In the wake of her death, Colvin's family filed a lawsuit against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, accusing Damascus of deliberately targeting and killing her in attempt to silence journalists and activists in the war-torn country.

Bashar al-Assad claimed that Colvin was responsible for her own death.

"It's a war and she came illegally to Syria. She worked with the terrorists, and because she came illegally, she's been responsible of everything that befall on her," Assad said in a 2016 interview.

Speaking ahead of the 7 September release date of the documentary, Conroy said documents have shown they were deliberately targeted.

"I hope if any of the Syrian regime ever get to watch it I would love it to inject a sense of shame into them," the 54-year-old, from Anfield, Liverpool, told the Press Association.

"It would be nice to think that for one moment they felt a sense of guilt or a brief flash of humanity where it hurts."

Conroy suffered serious injuries in the attack, which left a large hole in his leg which required 23 operations.

He later wrote a book on his experiences while recovering from his wounds.

"I had spent a couple of months bringing her back to life, writing about her and trying to get her spirit and everything about her across … it just dawned on me that I had to kill her," he told the Press Association.

"I just wasn't ready to let her go for a second time - which is what it felt like."

While escaping Baba Amr, Conroy said he promised Syrian civilians trapped in the besieged city that he would "go out and tell their story".

Colvin always wanted to bear witness and give people a voice, Conroy said.

The documentary features interviews with those involved and unseen footage and audio of the attack, which was smuggled out of Syria.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. 

More than 100 journalists have been killed in the conflict, the majority by the regime.

Under The Wire will be in cinemas from 7 September.

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