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Rosenthal's Iwo Jima shot inspires movie

Clint Eastwood is directing a movie about the flag raising at Iwo Jima, which became one of the nation’s icons after it was photographed by Joe Rosenthal (pictured), who died last month in Novoto.

“Flags of our Fathers” will tell the heroic stories of the U.S. soldiers who raised the American flag during a 1945 battle with Japan that lasted 36 days cost the lives of 6,825 American soldiers. It opens Oct. 20 in theaters, according to the L.A. Times. After filming the American point of view (using largely unknown up-and-coming actors), Eastwood then shot the same story from the Japanese perspective. That film, “Letters from Iwo Jima” with a mostly Japanese cast, is due in December.

Rosenthal was likely aware of the upcoming movie since production began before his death on Aug. 21. Rosenthal, who would later become a Chronicle staff photographer, captured an image at Iwo Jima that was published in almost every U.S. newspaper, the NY Post noted in Rosenthal’s obituary. The picture also won a Pulitzer.

[PPC, Sept. 6: Tribute planned for Joe Rosenthal on Sept. 15]

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