You may not have heard of Henri Dauman, but you’ve certainly seen his photos. From Marilyn Monroe and Martha Stewart to Andy Warhol and Muhammad Ali, Dauman’s photos tell the story of America in the second half of the 20th century.
“Henry Dauman: Looking Up,” by director Peter Kenneth Jones, tells the story of the man who lived a life behind the camera.
Unbeknownst to many, Dauman is a Holocaust survivor, having escaped Paris with his mother after his father was deported to a French prison camp and later Auschwitz, where he died.
The film follows Dauman as he returns to his childhood apartment in Paris for the first time since 1963. He first left France following his mother’s death shortly after the war, when he was just 13. From there, he travels to the countryside, trying to track down the house where he hid with a local family during the war.
Dauman later left France for America, falling into a love of photojournalism, a field he would forever change.
“When I’m wearing a camera around my neck, I basically have no fear,” he recounts at one point.
Throughout his illustrious career, he became known as a perfectionist. In one scene, Dauman describes how he bonded with Elvis Presley. Presley took an immediate liking to Dauman because he was one of the few who could understand him during that time in his life.
Littered with stories of his interactions with celebrities, Dauman’s story, much like his camera, captures the perfect frames from an iconic era of American history.
Eddie Samuels is a staff writer at the AJT.