A Good Day to Die, Hoka Hey
What is the first thing you think of when the guy behind you gets his legs blown off? What time is it when it hits 'bomb o'clock'? How do you fall for a woman, who then reveals herself as an assassin? Hoka Hey is a narrative feature, 5 years in the making, documenting the life story and extraordinary adventures of British conflict photographer, Jason P. Howe. He survived 12 years on the front-line of four wars, capturing images of humanity at war, its suffering, and cultures in disarray. His work has been showcased in many of the world's best-known publications, such as The New York Times, The Telegraph, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and many others. It all started with a self-funded trip to Colombia into an area synonymous with drug trafficking and violence. Documenting the brutal war between the left-wing rebel group, FARC, their sworn enemies the military, and the right-wing paramilitary groups, Jason gained the trust of all sides of this scarcely reported war - putting him in a position that few had ever been in. This was just the beginning, his lust for risk awakened; Jason proceeded to put himself in the way of danger in conflicts that have defined the present day. Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, where he worked extensively with British troops on the front-line are all on his resume. One horrific incident, photographed by Jason, led him to winning the prestigious UK Picture Editors' Guild Awards- Photographer of the Year and Photo Essay Award. These pictures captured the gripping moments of an IED blast that blew the legs off a British soldier behind him. Ironically, it was the publishing of these pictures in one of Britain's leading newspapers - The Telegraph - that led to Jason being unofficially banned from the front-line by the British Ministry of Defence, a limiting career move that left him frustrated and disappointed. Jason's journey exposes the physical and emotional impact of love, loss, friendship, suffering, and disillusionment. Especially the bravery it takes to survive the world at war, and what it takes to get the images published for the world to see. This is not a film about war. This is a story of a man who chose a life of perpetual peril in pursuit of the perfect image. An insight on how passion led to a downward spiral in this crazy tale of survival and change. Jason went down the rabbit hole, and we don't know if he has fully come back out.