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Based on the acclaimed memoir by Greg Marinovich and João Silva
As apartheid comes to a violent end, four fearless photographers - Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) and João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld) - bonded by their friendship and a sense of purpose, risk their lives to capture the bloody struggle and expose the truth.
Making-of featurette, Audio commentary with director Steven Silver, Deleted Scenes, Short film by Kgosi Mongake, Slideshow.
Screenwriter-director Steven Silver aspires to pose, if not exactly answer, some serious questions in his 2010 film The Bang Bang Club. What is the role of photographers during a time of war? Are they merely journalists and observers whose only duty is to use their cameras to let the world see what they have witnessed in the flesh? Or, when they see violence and suffering, do they have a responsibility to get involved and try to help those in need? The titular "club" refers to four photographers--Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach), and João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld)--who, in the early to mid '90s, when the South African system of apartheid was in its death throes, worked together to chronicle the violence and upheaval leading up to the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as president (the film is based on a memoir written by Marinovich and Silva). This isn't quite The Hurt Locker for shutterbugs--they're taking photos, not defusing bombs--but their work is risky and dangerous, potentially fatally so, as they thrust themselves into the middle of chaotic clashes between forces backed by the government (including Inkatha Zulu warriors) and those in support of Mandela's African National Congress. Pulitzers are won, but not without accompanying criticism. One black character describes their work as "white photographers making money off the blood of South Africa," while one of Marinovich's prize-winning shots is derided as "a white man's photo taken for white men's purposes"; they also have to defend their decisions not to intervene in some of the more horrific scenes they recorded, while attempting to keep the police's hands off their work as well. It's all rather compelling, at least in the film's latter half, but Silver mitigates the impact by first depicting these heroes as self-involved young daredevil studs with hot, hard-bodied girlfriends on hand to ease the pain (shades of Top Gun, although not nearly as frivolous). All in all, a worthy study of some conflicted men whose job, as one of them puts it, was mainly to "sit there and watch people die." --Sam Graham
EXCELLENT AND A TRUE STORY VERY WELL DONE LOVE IT HAVE ORDERED THE DVD, SAW IT ON PRIMEPublished 2 months ago by D. Mahaney
This movie portrays the photo journalists as they really are:"Daring, unsophisticated, reputable, photographers. Who deserve our utmost confidence and thoughtfulness.Published 4 months ago by William Bramhall