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The war in the South Pacific, a country doctor in Colorado, victims of industrial pollution in a Japanese village - all of these were captured in unforgettable photographs by the legendary W. Eugene Smith. No matter where, what, or whom he was shooting, Smith drove himself relentlessly to create evocative portraits that revealed the essence of his subjects in a way that touched the emotion and conscience of viewers. The life and work of this brilliant and complicated man, whose passion for social justice matched his desire to create photographs that were works of art, are explored in this film.
In addition to showcasing over 600 of Smith's stunning photos, the program includes a dramatic recreation in which actor Peter Riegert (Crossing Delancey, Local Hero) portrays Smith, both in his New York City loft and at the locations where he shot some of his major work. This device allows the photographer to speak for himself, with dialogue taken from his diaries and letters.
Interwoven through the documentary is archival film footage as well as interviews with Smith's family, friends and colleagues, including Aileen Smith, his second wife and collaborator; writer and art critic John Berger; writer Ben Maddow; photo historian William Johnson, who was Smith's archivist; Smith's biographer Jim Hughes, author of the McGraw-Hill book W. Eugene Smith: Shadow and Substance; UPI correspondent and friend Red Valens; and Ed Thompson, former managing editor of Life magazine. The wide range of music used in the film, from blues to jazz to classical, reflects the importance of music to Smith throughout his life.
My first one was defective and I quickly received a replacement which was in good shape. This is my favorite photographer and it is a wonderful story about him.Published 11 months ago by Laini
It was excellent, but seemed to ramble in spots and I think I would have liked it better if it hadn't tried to be so comprehensive. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Joe Z
This movie examines the power of photography and its ability to make change. Though I think this documentary could stand on its own without the need for additional acting. Read morePublished on June 9, 2011 by Paul