The film will use the photographer Eddie Adams’ iconic Vietnam War image – that of South Vietnamese general Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner on a Saigon street – to launch a broader inquiry into our perception and understanding of visual media and the power of images to influence our beliefs, our values and our choices.
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Through a series of on-camera interviews with contemporaries of both Adams and General Loan (people who knew them personally, were chroniclers of the conflict, lived through and fought in the war, an eyewitness to the execution), the film will expose the little known, and very surprising, back-story behind the photograph, one of the most famous in the history of the medium.
Additionally, ‘visual literacy’ experts will explore the contemporary relevance of the double-edged Adams image to today’s increasing dependence on images as our preferred means of communication. Questions and concerns will be raised regarding the ubiquity of images – and the danger of misreading and misperceiving them without understanding their context.