Looking For An Icon

Maaik Krijgsman, Hans Pool Short documentary - 2005 - 54 min.

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The best-known example is probably the screaming girl in Vietnam who runs towards us covered in burns after a bombardment. This picture has become the icon of the war in Vietnam in the late sixties. Why does one news photo occupy our collective memory and the other does not? How does a picture turn into the symbol of a historical event? The directors selected four indelible photographs - other ones than the Vietnam picture - to interpret the process of 'iconification'. They spoke with the four photographers, but also with a large number of historians, publishers and other experts, like David Lee Strauss, Adriaan Monshouwer, John G. Morris, David Turnley and Oliviero Toscani, to try and find some answers. They also shed light on the circumstances in and days on which the pictures were taken, with a surprising outcome. The documentary was made on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of World Press Photo.


Producer(s) Frank de Jonge
Suzanne van Voorst
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