Aileen and W Eugene Smith

From its title right through to its last gasp, Minamata, a drama based on real events, insists that it isn’t about the photographer W Eugene Smith. But it is. Smith was a photographer who’d distinguished himself in the Second World War and then returned to lay down many of the ground rules of photojournalism at Life magazine, he and it in a creative lockstep from the 1940s till the 1970s, when it ceased weekly publication and he went on to the great darkroom in the sky. The film picks up Smith at the end of his career in 1971: old, drunk, broke, selling off his gear to pay his rent and barely able … Read more