Coming to theatres this Friday, October 28: UNDERFIRE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PFC TONY VACCARO
Max Lewkowicz’s look at a WWII soldier’s photographic chronicle of the war debuted at Shanghai. Other festival appearances have included Margaret Mead, Tallgrass, Edmonton, San Diego, and GZDOC.
Tony Vaccaro spent about a year as a part of the US Army’s 83rd Infantry, beginning with the invasion of Normandy up to the end of the war. Drafted right after high school, he had an interest in photography, but was too young to be assigned to the Signal Corps, which oversaw combat photography. Instead, he used his own camera, shooting nearly 8000 images, even developing negatives himself in Army helmets using chemicals found in bombed out photography shops. Deeply affected by his experiences, Vaccaro, who became a professional photographer, never took another combat photo. He put away his WWII images upon returning to civilian life, not releasing them publicly until the 1990s, when they became lauded among historians and photographers alike. Lewkowicz follows the now 93-year-old as he returns to Europe, shares his thoughts on his war experiences, and reveals the stories behind several of his photographs, making for a compelling and poignant consideration of the nature and impact of war.