“The Picture Warrior” at the cinema

Before the film screening in Warburg (from left): Nishanuddin Ahengar, Dr Heribert Schlinker, Mayor Daniel Hartmann, Heide Ute Niedringhaus, Mayor Tobias Scherf, Christine Longère, Chairperson of FAN, Julian Schlinker, Judith Schlinker, Ute Schlinker.

After its premiere in Berlin, the film “Die Bilderkriegerin – Anja Niedringhaus” can also be seen in cinemas in the district of Höxter, in Warburg and Bad Driburg. The cinema operators, the Schlinker family, had invited the audience to a performance in cooperation with the Forum Anja Niedringhaus (FAN) at the Cineplex Warburg. The invitation was accepted by Mayor Daniel Hartmann from Höxter, Mayor Tobias Scherf from Warburg, Heide Ute Niedringhaus, the mother of the murdered photographer, and FAN board members. The audience experienced particularly moving moments through the presence of the Afghan cameraman Nishanuddin Ahengar, who witnessed the assassination attempt in the Afghan province of Khost that was fatal for Anja Niedringhaus and now lives with his family in Germany.

The topic of the film is of burning topicality. The film vividly shows the viewer what war means and what people like Anja Niedringhaus take on when they go to war zones to show the world what is happening.

“Without good pictures there is no democracy,” says a colleague of Anja Niedringhaus, Michael Kamber, in the film. The story of a war photographer is told. Anja Niedringhaus has objected to this designation. “I photograph what is happening in the world,” she emphasised. After all, she not only works in war and crisis zones, but also a lot in sport, “preferably athletics and tennis”, at the Olympic Games and time and again at Wimbledon. If you work in Iraq or Afghanistan for a longer period of time, it is important to “gain some distance, a different perspective”.

For her, sport was a counterbalance to the war, as was time with her family, her mother in Höxter, her sisters, nieces and nephews, her aunt in Geneva.

She was “not looking for that bang-bang”, she said in an interview. She saw herself as a contemporary witness: “If I don’t photograph it, it won’t be known.” Through her work in the war zones, she had become a pacifist. “You don’t solve problems with tanks.”

Anja Niedringhaus on screen is a film character who follows a script. Anja Niedringhaus on screen is a film character who follows a script. Nishanuddin Ahengar, who travelled from near Marburg with his wife and son, was also shocked by the memory of what happened in Banda Khel, Afghanistan, on 4 April 2014. As he told the audience, he had worked for the AP news agency since 2003 and had known Anja Niedringhaus for several years. She had often admonished him to be careful, telling him, “Life is more important than a photo.”