Photographes au front - Watch French WWI Documentaries on TV5MONDE


Photographic reporting of major conflicts was quite a new concept in 1915 when World War I erupted in Europe. The fascinating documentary Photographes au front follows the adventures and challenges of amateur French photographers who were part of the “Section Photographique des Armées” from 1915 to 1917.


A Whole New Adventure


Prior to World War I, the only major war to have been caught on camera had been the American Civil War. Across the Atlantic Ocean in Europe, French reporters still relied on painters to portray the realities of war and conflict to the masses.


In 1915, the German army formed a photographic service to create propaganda by depicting a glorious nationalistic stereotype of their military troops. Photographes au front focuses on the way France responded to this effective strategy — by creating the Section Photographique des Armées, a group of forty amateur and apprentice photographers to capture life on the side of the Allies.


Questions soon arose regarding how war was to be documented, and what the role of the war reporter should be. One century later, contemporary war photographers and historians reflect on the great social and technological adventure of these intrepid pioneers.


Genre: Documentary

Directed by: Aurine Crémieu

Country: France

Year: 2015

Length: 52 minutes

Subtitles: English


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Subtitles: en