Watched Mar 10, 2012
It takes a special breed of photographer to document combat. They risk life and limb for that one shot that will explain, expose or otherwise illuminate the conflict. Along the way they are haunted by what they have seen, what they have done and not done in the name of journalism.
The Bang Bang Club moved me in a way I was unprepared for and haven't felt since watching the Killing Fields. It's a story about the photographers and their experiences with the political events serving primarily as a back drop.
Whether you know it or not you have seen and you will recognize, upon second viewing, the images taken by Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld) and Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) -- even the ones that haven't won Pulitzer Prizes. All four leading men and Malik Ackerman turned in genuine and believable performances.
The Bang Bang Club gives us a glimpse into what it was like for our four real life photographers as they document the last days of apartheid. A period that saw much black on black factional violence, fighting between ANC and IFP supporters. The fact that movie does not preach, nor teach nor take sides -- it only shows that there was contributory negligence, malice and intent during the conflict and it all contributed to the sad state of affairs -- is a testament to the director and the source material.