One World Film Festival

Matthew Heineman #jedensvet2019

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7 min. and 34 sec.

The American documentary filmmaker was subject of a retrospective at Prague’s 2019 One World.

Play Podcast
7 min. and 34 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews director Matthew Heineman.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

An interview with American documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman, who was the subject of a retrospective at the 2019 One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague, Czech Republic. The dedicated strand presented three of his feature documentaries: Cartel Land, which takes a riveting behind the scenes look at the battle with drug cartels and the enormous impact that it has on the live sof people in Mexico and and the USA; City of Ghosts, a raw portrayal of the atrocities committed in Syria as viewed by two Syrian civil journalists; and The Trade, a film that examples the drug epidemic and communities on both sides of the US/Mexico border. In this interview, Heineman shared with us how he stumbled into documentary filmmaking and some of the ways in which he works within the works. He also discusses whether he believes the camera has any sort of direct impact on the events that he captures, the universal aspects of his works and whether retrospectives, such as that put together this year by One World, invites him to reflect upon his career thus far and the impact that his films have had or continue to have.

In his relatively short career, Matthew Heineman has built a respected position on the American documentary scene. He has already earned an Oscar nomination and won an Emmy Award. His gonzo style, reminiscent of narrative feature films, is very naturalistic and does not show any signs of the clumsiness that sometimes accompanies docudrama films. Although often working in extreme conflict situations or among the drug cartels, he is able to gain the confidence of the parties involved, while maintaining an impartial approach.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Matthew Heineman
  • Interviewee role
  • Festival section
    Retrospective: Matthew Heineman
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