‘Whirlybird’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Journalists are always craving a new story, they live for the fast-paced environment, and most importantly they want to tell the truth. Some stories that are covered can definitely take a mental toll on journalists and there are some situations that can stay in their mind forever. Thanks to Zoey Tur, the breaking news aspect of journalism reached its peak in the late 80s, early 90s. Whirlybird explores the dynamic journey of a young couple, who revolutionized breaking news with their bold helicopter reporting. They both dive into action-packed live coverage of monumental moments in the history of L.A., including the 1992 riots and the O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco chase in 1994.

What was so fascinating to see was the behind-the-scenes footage from those massive stories. Everything Zoey and Marika had to go through to get the footage, in order to tell the honest version of that story. Because they were in the helicopter, getting an aerial view, they would see everything before other news crews. They created action news and everyone wanted in on it. The aerial view offered a wider lens of the situation, you could see mobs of people, you could see natural destruction for what it was, and that footage leaves an impression on you. There are raw, emotional moments, from Zoey and Marika that really make you feel for them as journalists.

Not only do we see the couple dive into their past with the archive footage, but we go on a separate emotional journey with them. The first half of this documentary sets up their relationship, and their character traits. Like most of us, none of us want to become our parents, and for Zoey, that was her main struggle during her early years. She did not want to become her father. Before her transition, her dad was the only paternal figure that really taught her what it was to be a man. It was a disjointed relationship, a difficult situation growing up, which had long-term effects on her.

The one thing that Whirlybird will teach you, is that no matter how much you distract yourself with your work, and repress your pain, or the person you truly are, everything will come out eventually. The issue there, is that you don’t know how it will reveal itself. Everyone can reflect on their past and realize their mistakes when handling certain situations. But in that moment, you’re a different person, and that is what pains your present self. Seeing what Zoey and Marika had to go through in the second-half of this film really struck a chord and made for an emotional ending.

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