The American photographer W Eugene Smith (1918-78) is celebrated for his uniquely eloquent style of 'inside story' photojournalism, combining dramatic immediacy with compassionate engagement. This profile views Smith's 'heroic' achievements in relation to his complex personality. In the 1940s Smith was assigned by Life to cover the war in the Pacific, and his images from the US assault on Japanese resistance in the Saipan Mountains rank with the greatest war photographs. Smith's realization of the 'enemy as victim' and the message of universal human compassion shaped all his subsequent projects, and his vision is seen here as essentially religious, focusing on revelatory moments of pain, exhaustion, ordinary labour, anxiety and kindness. This film traces Smith's pursuit from the 1950s of an epic approach to photography, from the documentation of famine in Franco's Spain, to his coverage in 1971 of the Minamata mercury pollution incident in Japan, with which he felt his work had come full-circle.
http://www.filesonic.com/file/44047184/W. Eugene Smith-Photography Made Difficult-1989-Gene Lasko.avi
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