Fascinating documentary on combat photojournalist Catherine LeRoy

"The Hill Fights" is a clip from Jacques Menasche's film on the life and work of Catherine LeRoy, best known for covering the Vietnam War in all its unvarnished horror.

At the time, carrying gear needed to film was too cumbersome for the kind of nimble work she was able to do. In some ways, the stills are even more harrowing than footage. A facial expression, haunted eyes, the terror of it all captured in a style that most journalists were not using while covering the war.

She was also a total badass. Via the International Center for Photography:

Cathy at War is a 72-minute documentary featuring the words and pictures of Catherine Leroy, arguably the greatest female photographer of the Vietnam War. Despite being less than five-feet tall and 90 pounds, Leroy set the record for operations undertaken with the US Marines, was the first woman to parachute into combat, was seriously wounded in action, captured by the North Vietnamese, and for three years made some of the most iconic images of the war. Through letters written to her parents, interviews, and her photographs, the film tracks the conflict from its early gung-ho optimism to its slow descent into quagmire and futility. It also documents Leroy's personal battles, as a woman and a human being. The result is an intimate meditation on war.

Here's the trailer:

Hill Fights (Vimeo / Jacques Menasche)