Critique of “What I Saw in Syria” by Declan Walsh

Link to the original piece

A screenshot from “What I Saw in Syria”

The piece, “What I Saw in Syria” is a footage of one week trip to Syria, recorded by Declan Walsh, the NY Times Cairo bureau chief. He started the travel from Damascus and headed north, passing Homs and Ithriya, to Aleppo. The video records shows scenery of the cities as well as fatally wounded people at government hospital. At last, he attended a wedding ceremony and illustrated people who are trying to find a sense of normalcy during ongoing wartime.

The use of video, audio, photo, maps, short texts, and English subtitles were aligned in a much effective way to tell the wartime situation of Syria. The audio narration depicted scenes, characters and told Walsh’s own feelings in a way that brought emotional feelings to me as a viewer. The videos and photos of bombed buildings, school bus, children at the hospital, and the road trip scenes were realistically informing how Syrian people have lived side by side to death.

The maps were useful in getting the sense of where Walsh was in Syria and following after the city names.

The length of the piece was relatively short and easy to follow. I also liked the fact that it didn’t use any music that may have turned the story into a cliché or an overly dramatic one.

Overall, a very strong story, and especially I’d like to read, watch, or hear more about individual’s in-depth stories about how people in Syrian have been going about their lives these past five to six years of wartime.

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