In the spring of 2015, An-My Lê was invited by film director Gary Ross to photograph on the set of Free State of Jones, his period war film inspired by the life of Newton Knight, a Mississippi farmer and Southern Unionist who led an armed revolt against the Confederacy in 1864. Shot in Louisiana north of Lake Pontchartrain and in the swamps of Chicot State Park, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as Knight. Extras for the film included Iraq War veterans and Louisiana and Mississippi locals. These photographs are part of an ongoing project called The Silent General, which debuted this spring at the Whitney Biennial.

 


Monument, General P. G. T. Beauregard, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2016. Images courtesy of STX Entertainment.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Battle of Corinth II, Bush, Louisiana, 2015.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Special Effects Technician, Bush, Louisiana, 2015.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Confederate Soldiers, Bush, Louisiana, 2015.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Wounded Confederate Soldiers, Bush, Louisiana, 2015.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Maroon, Chicot State Park, Louisiana, 2015.

 


Film Set (Free State of Jones), Maroon, Chicot State Park, Louisiana, 2015.

 

An-My Lê is a Vietnamese American photographer. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and elsewhere.

Tags:
american civil war
american south
americana
history
film industry
documentary photography
photodocumentation
BOMB 139
Spring 2017
The cover of BOMB 139
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