Former US President Barack Obama's chief official White House photographer Pete Souza's 2019 Hyderabad trip has featured in the documentary film 'The Way I See It' and was recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The film, directed by award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter, follows Souza's work capturing the first African-American president while in office from 2008 to 2016.
The film also shows Souza visiting Hyderabad, India for the 2019 PEP Photo Summit and taking questions about his work from attendees. It also follows Souza roaming around in the city taking pictures of the street life and other things. During the summit, when asked about the conflict on capturing real moments and the need to build "Brand Obama", Souza replied by saying, "I wasn't a PR photographer, I look myself as a historian with a camera."
During his trip to Hyderabad, while giving a TV interview, Souza was asked if he thinks there is any hope for photojournalism. Souza responds, "Yes, there is, but it does not help when the President describes journalists as 'fake news' and enemies of the people," referring to the current White House occupant Donald Trump and his constant rundown of the press.
Souza, who captured the famous moment of Obama and his top officials watching the raid on Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden live on screen, also compare Donald Trump and his predecessor in the film, particularly criticising the current US President for his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Souza in the film says that he knows what goes down in the room, referring to the White House oval office, adding "I am worried about what's going on in there today".
The Way I See It premiered at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this week and is slated for release on September 18.
(With inputs from PTI)