Matthew VanDyke's Documentary Films
(For information about Matthew VanDyke's Syrian revolution film, Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution, please visit www.SyrianRevolutionFilm.com)
The Documentary Film About Matthew VanDyke's Experiences As A Freedom Fighter and Prisoner of War in Libya
Matthew VanDyke had spent four years filming his life and adventures in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. From 2007-2010 he accumulated hundreds of hours of film footage and thousands of photographs of his travels by motorcycle through the Arab World, Iran, and Afghanistan, as well as his experiences as an embedded journalist in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So naturally when he headed off to Libya in March 2011 to help his Libyan friends in the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, he took his video camera with him. The Libyan Civil War was an important historical event, and he felt he had a responsibility to film it when he could. Every now and then he planned to turn on the camera and film the uprising from the inside, documenting it so that one day Libyans could show their children how they defeated Gaddafi.
VanDyke was captured with some of this footage, including video of himself working as a rebel, proclaiming his support and enlistment in the revolution, making a pledge to remain in Libya until the country was free, working on their combat vehicle, and handling weapons and ammunition. However, a few days prior to his capture he had made a backup of some of this footage and left it with a friend in Benghazi. That footage survived.
After his escape from prison, VanDyke purchased a video camera on his way back to the front lines, filming rebel life during the war and many of the battles he participated in.
VanDyke is currently working on a documentary film using the footage he recorded in Libya both at the beginning of the revolution, and when he returned to the war after prison. The film will also include video of both prisons he was held in - Abu Salim (from where he escaped and where he gave the press tours of his cell), and his first prison - Maktab al-Nasser, the "Nightmare Factory," which nearly destroyed him.
The Libya documentary is currently in production.