‘Mike Wallace is Here’ inspires perseverance


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Ann Fitzmaurice

I do not think I blinked once as I watched Avi Belkin’s ‘Mike Wallace is Here.’
Belkin tells Wallace’s life story through such a captivating series of interviews geniusly interwoven and with such a range of emotions that I literally could not look away. In fact, I found myself sitting with my elbows on my knees, head in hands, staring in awe at the screen like a schoolgirl with a playground crush.
Wallace was an American journalist, TV show host and actor. Because of his many titles, the public questioned his role as a journalist as they believed he was all “show-biz.” This sub theme of the documentary and Wallace’s life pushed him to try and prove himself, and that perseverance is what made the film so inspiring. Wallace’s story showed audiences that they can be whatever they please, as long as they put in the work
I felt every single emotion the documentary film presented in such intensity that I truly felt as if I was a part of Wallace’s life. My heart broke as the camera set on him interviewing an array of people and personalities. I knew exactly what happened to those people after the interview and i felt helpless as I imaged what Wallace must feel when people he’s interviewed pass away. Between these interviews, I grew with hope as Wallace found himself and his voice. With each clip, I felt excitement like I was turning the page of a book to a new chapter. The historical events tied into the movie made its narrative all the more real as Wallace navigated Watergate, tobacco companies and the Vietnam War. His story was not only inspiring in a journalistic sense, but Wallace showed that life is full of trials and tribulations, but what matters is that you lived.
For me, ‘Mike Wallace is Here’ inspired me like nothing else in my life has. Wallace reminded me why I am pursuing journalism and what changes I can make to the world with uncovering the truth. Wallace’s interview tactics were striking, and the entire movie made me ask myself, “why aren’t I doing this?”
The documentary also had underlying themes of journalistic integrity and how there is always going to be backlash, even if the story is accurate. Through lawsuits, moral struggles and foreshadowing to Donald Trump’s presidency, ‘Mike Wallace is Here’ explains how to overcome struggles in order to tell the truth.

The expertly chosen and placed clips of interview in the film told the story perfectly with no narration whatsoever. It was incredible how Belkin managed to screen an entire movie — and man’s life — simply through compiling all of Wallace’s interviews. I could tell Belkin placed each clip with purpose and care, and that tedious work made ‘Mike Wallace is Here’ a phenomenal, one of a kind experience.

Not only did the documentary teach the audience about Wallace’s life, but it took them through every single emotion Wallace felt when he did. We as the audience traveled through Wallace’s rise to fame, his high and rock bottom and his depression then resurgence. We traveled with Wallace as he discovered his son’s dead body, and later laughed as he cursed at the camera when he messed up a line. The film truly connects the audience to the storyline with laughter, tears and everything in between.
Every single person has something to learn from watching ‘Mike Wallace is Here.’ For me, the film inspired me to continue pursuing journalism and sparked a new passion to tell the truth inside of me. For others, it might shine a light on the purpose of journalism and for someone else, the incredible ups and downs of living life to the fullest. Whatever the film may bring the viewer, there is no doubt that ‘Mike Wallace is Here’ is a movie that audiences will not forget.
What did you think of ‘Mike Wallace is Here?’ Let us know in the comments below!