China bans Leica ad portraying photojournalist taking historic “Tank Man” picture

A short film paying tribute to photojournalists censored in China for featuring 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre

(Screenshot of Leica 'The Hunt' Youtube Video)

(Screenshot of Leica 'The Hunt' Youtube Video)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The award-winning advertising agency F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi released a short film this week intended to promote Leica Camera. But the German camera manufacturer has decided to steer clear of the film that depicts a photojournalist taking the iconic “Tank Man” picture during the 1989 student protest at the Tiananmen Square, Reported the South China Morning Post.

In “The Hunt”, a photojournalist sneaks back into his hotel room to take photos after being interrogated and told to leave by Chinese soldiers. He locks himself in the room and quickly snaps shots of the Tiananmen Square as the soldiers bang heavily on the door ordering him to open and hand over everything.

In the end, the reflection of his lens shows the image of the iconic photo “Tank Man” from 1989, a student protester who stood in front of a line of tanks demanding democratic transition in China.

The short film, along with the camera manufacturer’s brand were immediately censored on Chinese social media platforms, according to The Drum magazine’s report.

A Leica’s spokesperson later told the South China Morning Post that the film was “not an officially sanctioned marketing film commissioned by the company.”

The five-minute film portrays the fear and risks photojournalists face while working in conflicts and nature. The film ends with the caption, “This film is dedicated to those who lend their eyes to make us see,” and a flash of the Leica logo.