Theo Who Lived

Theo Padnos’s writing career wasn’t going as well as he had hoped. He was a self-proclaimed “homeless journalist" and “dumb American,” traveling around the world with a satchel full of SIM cards, temporarily based in a room in Turkey for which he was paying $20 a month. He had plans to travel south to Syria and write an article for the New Republic about the state of the refugee camps. He arranged to meet people he believed were university students who said they would accompany him across the border. “It’s just two days, and I’m not that much of a chicken,” he recalled.
Hours later, Padnos was kidnapped and held hostage by a faction of Al-Qaeda for almost two years. Shortly after he was taken, another American journalist, James Foley, was captured in Syria. Eventually, Foley was beheaded, and people all around the world watched the video of his death. David Schisgall’s documentary about Padnos’s ordeal is aptly titled Theo Who Lived.

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Theo Who Lived plays Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 p.m. at Northwest Film Forum. After the screening, I will lead a conversation with Theo Padnos about his experience in captivity, the conflict in Syria, and the state of the nation under president-elect Trump. by Julia Raban
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David Schisgall