a documentary film by Gabrielle Pfeiffer

A POET ON THE FRONTLINE will introduce audiences to the world of Ryszard Kapuscinski, the famous daredevil war correspondent and one of the world’s most important contemporary literary figures.  Known as “Indiana Jones with a notepad,” Kapuscinski is a legend among his peers who has been looking for the truths of human experience in the most dangerous places.

In this film, independent filmmaker Gabrielle Pfeiffer explores the challenges of the writer in the face of censorship, and examines the lines between journalism and literature.  She considers Kapuscinski’s distinction between recording the hard facts of a wartime event, and reaching deeper for the essence of human experience.

Ms. Pfeiffer traveled with Kapuscinski in four countries, capturing his true character, his passion, his humor and his demons.  She interweaves Kapuscinski's childhood as a refugee in Poland during WWII, with his later experiences on the battlefields of the Third World, in a poetic reverie of the tragedy and the absurdity of war.

This project was made possible by a grant from

The National Endowment for the Humanities

A Poet on the Frontline:

The Reportage of Ryszard Kapuściński