In February 1968 Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Eddie Adams photographed police chief General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner, Nguyễn Văn Lém, on a Saigon street. It was arguably the most important photograph taken documenting the Vietnam War. In 1969 Adams earned the Pulitzer Prize for this famous photograph.
The trailer above is from a new documentary out on Adam’s life. Keifer Sutherland narrates the new documentary. The documentary is playing in New York City now with releases later this year in other cities.
After his most famous photograph Adams was later quoted in Time magazine saying:
“The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. … What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?”
The controversial and iconic image is frequently cited as the power that a still image can have to affect individuals and to influence society and politics.