A film portrait of James Foley: ‘Jim was a kid who loved adventure’

By Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian

To most of the world, the place where James Foley spent his childhood must look about as good as it gets: a clapboard house with a large garden in a small town next to a beautiful lake. Visualise the American dream and this is it, pretty much. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where Foley grew up in a close-knit family of five siblings, is an affluent corner of a well-off state in the world’s most advanced industrial economy. The worst thing you can say about the place is that it’s where Mitt Romney goes on holiday.

This was where James Foley started his life. And on 19 August 2014, the world found out where and how it ended via a video posted on YouTubeentitled “A Message to America”. Foley, a 40-year-old freelance photojournalist who had been kidnapped in Syria two years earlier, was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and kneeling on the ground. With his hands tied behind his back, he recited what was obviously a prepared script that listed America’s crimes. And then, we all know what happened next: a masked man with a distinctive British accent put a knife to his throat and decapitated him…