Life through a lens: S4C celebrates Philip Jones Griffiths contribution to photography


A special documentary celebrating the work of the world-famous Welsh photographer, the late Philip Jones Griffiths, will be premiered in London on Tuesday, 16 February.

In the week in which Philip would have turned eighty, and 50 years since the great photographer first set foot in Vietnam, S4C are celebrating his life by documenting what made him famous – his time photographing the Vietnam War.

Presented by foreign correspondent Wyre Davies, Philip Jones Griffiths: Ffotograffydd Rhyfel Fietnam broadcasts on S4C Sunday, 28 February 9.00pm; English subtitles are available.

S4C has worked with BAFTA Cymru, Magnum Photos and The Philip Jones Griffiths Foundation as well as the film's production company Rondo Media to launch the premiere in The Frontline Club, Paddington. The programme is a co–production between Welsh company Rondo Media, and South Korean production company, JTV, Jeonju Television.

The documentary features interviews with some of those closest to him; family and friends and colleagues including John Pilger, Don McCullin and Professor Noam Chomsky.

This beautifully shot documentary gives fascinating insight into the life and legacy of a man who was a true humanitarian and whose pictures are classics of photojournalism, as powerful today as the day they were taken.

During the Vietnam War Rhuddlan born, Philip captured some of the most graphic and poignant photographs from a war-torn country raped by political intervention and ravaged by in-land fighting.

Through his work Philip showed how the war affected the common Vietnamese people, as well as the young soldiers. He fought against propaganda from both the USA and the Communist forces of North Vietnam by highlighting their desperation; and showed compassion and humanity through his photos. His work has inspired generations, and has helped changed the course of history.

S4C Content Commissioner Llion Iwan said: "Philip's philosophy and outlook was shaped by his upbringing in Wales, and he never forgot this. His contribution towards the Vietnamese people was immense and he continued to work on their behalf for the rest of his life. As the national broadcaster for Wales we are proud to be able to present this tribute to him and his enduring legacy."

Caryl Ebenezer, Rondo Media said; "It has been an honour to work closely over the past few months with Philip’s family and close friends and colleagues during the making of this film. The photos he took during and after the Vietnam War brought to the world’s attention the inhumanity and injustice of war that still resonate in Vietnam today. Philip could relate to Vietnam and had a deep empathy with its people. His photos are classics of photojournalism, as powerful today as the day they were taken."

The programme Philip Jones Griffiths: Ffotograffydd Rhyfel Fietnam is shown on S4C on Sunday 28 February at 9.00pm, with English subtitles available.

S4C is available on Sky 104, Freeview 4, Virgin TV 166 and Freesat 104 in Wales. In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, S4C is available on Sky 134, Freesat 120 and Virgin TV 166.

Also, online and on demand on, and viewers across the UK can also watch S4C on,, YouView and BBC iPlayer.


Notes to editors:

• The Vietnam War started in 1954 between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, and the American Army joined the War efforts in 1965. The American Army left the conflct in 1973, and the Vietnam War came to an end in 1975.

• There have been three co-productions between S4C and JTV, Jeonju Television, Gohebwyr: John Gower, Gohebwyr: John Hardy and Philip Jones Griffiths: Ffotograffydd Rhyfel Fietnam. Both previous productions have been gratefully received in South Korea and Wales.

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