- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (October 7, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679456570
- ISBN-13: 978-0679456575
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.1 x 12.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina 1st Edition
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Horst Faas and Tim Page's Requiem is a portfolio of work by combat photographers who died in Vietnam and Indochina. The photographers came from many countries. Some were famous, such Robert Capa and Sean Flynn; others will be remembered only thanks to this stunning book. Among the photographs presented here are some that everybody old enough to remember the war has seared into their memory: Larry Burrows's famous image of a first-aid station south of the DMZ, where a wounded black marine reaches out to his white brother; Huynh Thanh My's wrenching photographs of suspected Vietcongs' being tortured by government troops; Dana Stone's elegiac portraits of American soldiers marching to their deaths in the A Shau Valley. Requiem is a masterwork, a grim testimonial to a war that seemed as if it would never end--but that has too quickly been forgotten.
From School Library Journal
YA?A photographic essay that takes readers on an emotional journey into the wars in Indochina, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Divided into five sections, the book begins with the early notions of the wars, continues through the escalation, and ends with the final days of the conflicts. Essays are included on some of the photographers, providing readers with a glimpse into the lives of these brave men and women. The photographers' accounts of the fighting provided to various news wires are also included, but the photographs are so poignant and moving that they virtually tell the stories on their own. For example, one full-page, full-color photograph depicts a close-up of a marine walking in a chest-high rice patty. The caption states he died just 12 days later. One looks at pages of one photographer's work, only to turn to a picture of her dead body after she was killed by shrapnel. It is this grim and stark reality that makes this book so powerful. Through a camera, teens are given a realistic, unromanticized look at war. A heartrending tribute to the men and women who lost their lives taking these pictures.?Stacey M. Keeley, Sherwood Regional Library, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Perhaps this reaction is the result of the dual reality one is presented with - not only are the photos depicting (at times) someone being killed, but you also know that the person who took the photograph was also killed. In one photograph you actually see the last photo taken by that journalist before he died.
So why own it? "Reguiem" is a proverbial granite memorial to anyone who was killed in Vietnam - American, South Vietnamese, North Vietnamese, whoever. By showing photographs from all sides it is able to maintain a level of objectivity that you won't find in many books. It just hits you with, "Here, this was the reality. Deal with it." Because of this it also acts as a book of history and not just one about photographers and their work.
But still, I think "Requiem" will particularly appeal to anyone who's interested in photography and photojournalism.
I'm reminded of the book "The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War" which is about photographers in South Africa and the fall of Apartheid. The photographers within that book are driven by excitment and adrenaline. They also want their photography to make an impact, to change the world. (A feeling many photojournalists share.) One of the photographers in that book, a man by the name of Kevin Carter who won the Pulitzer Prize winner for his shot of a dying Sudanese child, committed suicide as result of the desperation he felt.
"Requiem" is in some ways a complement to "The Bang-Bang Club" because it shows the ultimate sacrifice war photographers sometimes make in their pursuit of the craft. This makes the book that much more haunting. While some of these photos did alter our perspective on the world, they didn't really change it. So was their sacrifice worth it? You have to open the book to decide for yourself.
Requiem is a series of photos and stories from various wars in the Indochina region (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia mainly) from the 1950's to the 1970's. Most of the photos were taken by photographers that lost their lives during the various conflicts. The book reads like a magazine, a series of short stories about the region, the war, or about a deceased photographer augmented by photographs of the subject or by the subject.
I was confused about my feelings about the pictures in the book. I do not find any beauty in death, yet I found the photographs in the book are hauntingly beautiful. The pictures in the beginning of the book show calm, surreal scenes from the region. As the book progressed from the 1950's to the Vietnam war, the pictures became more destructive and consumed with death. Some pictures were unbelievable such as the photo by Hiromichi Mine of the plane hit in midair by an artillery shell. Other photos left images burned in my mind such as the photo of the last rights being given to Dixey Chapelle.
After searching for a few days as to why I thought the book was beautiful, I decided on the following: Personally, I have always been intrigued with war. I was never fascinated with the violence much as I was with the people who fought it and why it was fought. I've read a lot of first person accounts from various wars, but in the end, they were all stories. I believe Requiem and its photos tell the story of the people on both sides as well as the civilians caught in the middle. I thought it brought the concept of war out of the world of words on paper and into reality. The people killed were no longer statistics in an encyclopedia, their pictures shows young people with fear in their eyes. Like I mentioned before, it brought the soldiers from the world of words on paper to reality. It showed soldiers helping one another, fighting, tired after the battle, and deceased.
I would highly recommend this book for people interested in the Indochina wars or people interested in the Vietnam War. I think the book serves its purpose better in the hands of a mature audience, where people can look beyond the blood and violence to its hidden meanings.