Thursday, 28 February 2008

An Unlikely Weapon

“An Unlikely Weapon”

“An Unlikely Weapon” by director Susan Morgan Cooper tells
the life story of Photojournalist Eddie Adams. Adams’ most famous
“decisive moment” was during the Vietnam War when he photographed General Nguyen Ngoc firing at point blank range at a Vietnamese prisoner.

Archive footage is interspersed with interviews with fellow
photojournalists and Adams talking to camera himself as he walks
the streets of New York. It creates a picture of a brutally honest,
sometimes difficult, courageous and charismatic man who continually
struggled with the responsibilities that came with his profession.

The aftermath of the photo haunted Adams for the rest of his life as he concludes that “the photograph destroyed two lives” – the prisoner and the General who shot him. On photographing Clint Eastwood for “Unforgiven” he is told by Eastwood that Michael Cimino carried a folded up photo of the image for and year and a half in his wallet before going on to make the Deer Hunter ( a film in which he reversed the Russian Roulette roles ).

Work assignments with Fidel Castro and the early pre-porn
Playboy illustrate the toughness and integrity of the man (as he never touched the models) and towards the end of his life he set up a free workshop based school in Upper State New York for those studying Photography “This will save you five years” he declares to the young photography trainees.

Adams passed away in 2004 making the completion of
such a fine representation by Susan Morgan Cooper
even more remarkable.Catch it at Art-house cinemas if you can.

Peter Burton

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