Photographer Levi Bettweiser is the man behind “the Rescued Film Project“, an initiative to find and rescue old and undeveloped rolls of film from the far corners of the world.
Every image in The Rescued Film Project at some point, was special for someone. Each frame captured, reflects a moment that was intended to be remembered. The picture was taken, the roll was finished, wound up, and for reasons we can only speculate, was never developed. Bettweiser believes that these images deserve to be seen, so that the photographer’s personal experiences can be shared. Forever marking their existence in history, before they’re all gone.
Recently, Bettweiser came across one of his biggest finds so far: 31 undeveloped rolls of film shot by a single soldier during World War II.
The film rolls were found in late 2014 at an auction in Ohio. About half the rolls were labeled with various location names (i.e. Boston Harbor, Lucky Strike Beach, LaHavre Harbor). But he knew nothing about who shot the film or who be belonged to.
Bettweiser always gets nervous when developing the first roll in any batch of film, since the result of the first often indicated how special the rest of the batch will be.
Luckily, in this case it turned out to be 31 rolls shot 70 years ago, during WWII. Stunning images that to this day make us flinch at the scale of the suffering and marvel at the courage of the men and women whose unity of purpose kept the flame of hope alive in the darkest hours.
Wow! What an amazing discovery!
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