‘The Way I See It’ puts the ‘Before Times’ in focus

The Way I See It
Courtesy Focus Features

If you are missing “the good ol’ days” and the “before times” when the president of the United States was a kind gentleman, an intelligent statesman, a role model for your kids and an empathetic human being, then the new documentary movie, The Way I See It, is for you.

Based on the books Obama: An Intimate Portrait and Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, this film follows the fly-on-the-wall life of Pete Souza, an official White House photographer during the Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama presidencies.

If you love photography, this film puts you in the shoes of one of the best photojournalists in the world and takes you behind the scenes of his daily life while on the job as a White House photographer. If you lean towards the left politically then all the better as you will find yourself misty-eyed, reminiscing over the eight-years of the Obama presidency.

The Way I See It

The movie touches on Pete Souza’s professional story and career and it briefly covers his time within the Reagan White House, but that is all just a framework for the real story here which shows the journey of a once apolitical photojournalist who gains deep respect for his subject and now finds himself using his photography to “cast shade” on the current White House occupant. (See Pete Souza on Instagram @petesouza).

The Way I See It tells much of its story using Souza’s own still photographs which at times are emotionally touching and tear-inducing, but they also capture the fun and intensely serious moments as well. His voiceovers, mostly taken from his book tours and panel interviews, add interesting and intimate back-stories to many of the pictures.

The presidency as seen through Pete Souza’s eyes and camera lens proves that the United States once had a kind and compassionate soul and that’s a good thing to remember in these dark and mean-spirited times. Hopefully The Way I See It is the way we will soon be seen again.

The Way I See It review:

If you love photography, this film puts you in the shoes of one of the best photojournalists in the world and takes you behind the scenes of his daily life while on the job as a White House photographer.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Way I See It will air Friday, Oct. 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern time on MSNBC.

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About the author

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Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.

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