One of the most famous and hotly debated photographs of the Second World War has inspired a Hollywood film called Flags of Our Fathers, which is due to open in the UK on 22 December.

One of the most famous and hotly debated photographs of the Second World War has inspired a Hollywood film called Flags of Our Fathers, which is due to open in the UK on 22 December.

Directed by movie star Clint Eastwood, the film tells the story of the five US Marines and a Navy Corpsman depicted in Joe Rosenthal?s Pulitzer-Prize-winning image that documents the raising of the American flag on the summit of Mount Suribachi after a brutal battle on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima (see AP 16 September 2006).

Captured in February 1945, the iconic photograph became a symbol of victory, and sparked a heated debate in AP?s letters pages recently when a reader suggested that the picture may have been staged.

Rosenthal ? a former Associated Press photographer who died earlier this year ? shot the picture with a Speed Graphic camera at 1/400sec. It was taken on the fifth day of a furious 36-day battle that claimed tens of thousands of American and Japanese lives.

The movie reportedly focuses on what took place after the battle. ?This is a study of the surviving flag-raisers,? Eastwood told The Sunday Times Magazine.

For more details visit www.flagsofourfathers.net.