Most photographers will tell you that the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is true, and that becomes clear in Dawn Porter‘s documentary “The Way I See It.” The film features the story and work of official White House photographer Pete Souza, who served under the Reagan and Obama administrations. Souza gives his perspective from his own point of view, and the film features hundreds of his stunning photos.
Souza is a mildly interesting subject for a documentary, and the film is mostly a series of the man’s photographs with him expanding on the background behind each one. It feels a bit like a lecture (some of the film’s scenes are taken directly from speeches), but the insider information will make you see things in a different light. There’s a short segment dedicated to his work with Reagan, but the majority of the film focuses on his time spent with Obama.
There’s no hiding that this documentary has an extreme liberal slant, with its subject singing Obama’s praises like he’s a cherished rock star. He’s presented in a godlike fashion, but it’s understandable when you consider what we’ve had occupying the White House for the last four years. Souza himself says he once considered himself apolitical, but he’s done a complete 180 and is now very outspoken about the way he feels the current administration has ruined the highest office in the land. Pete sure doesn’t like Trump, and he doesn’t mince words.
No matter your political affiliation, “The Way I See It” gives an astounding look at the most intimate moments of our nation’s history, allowing regular citizens to take a peek behind the curtain at our leaders. Souza’s extraordinary work is truly compelling, and the beauty of his still photographs seem to “stop time.”
What a treat to be able to see behind the scenes of the presidency, especially the humanity of a time when there was empathy and integrity in the White House. On that note, the film ends with a sense of hope and relief that the next four years will bring.
By: Louisa Moore