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The Bang Bang Club 2010
Description: In the early to mid '90s, when the South African system of apartheid was in its death throes, four photographers - Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and João Silva - bonded by their friendship and a sense of purpose, worked together to chronicle the violence and upheaval leading up to the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as president. Their work is dangerous 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 help of Mandela's African National Congress.
Released: 22 Jul 2011 Director: Steven Silver Writers: Steven Silver, Greg Marinovich (based on the book by), João Silva (based on the book by), Judith Rascoe (story editor) Actors: Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman, Taylor Kitsch, Neels van Jaarsveld Genres: Biography, Drama, History
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The Bang Bang Club Reviews:

This movie was a great surprise; I'd not heard of it before I saw it. The set up is a group of intrepid South African photographers who wish to go out and document the troubles surrounding the end of apartheid - a storyline of incomparable significance at that time. These fours guys every have their own special personality and reactions to the happenings but share a desire to receive the facts on movie (and not just report on the contrived political goings on). They risk life and limb in riots and wars that were fought, very graphically here, within the townships - traditionally no go territories for white people. The fact that the director (Steven Silver) managed to fit into the running time enough feature on every photographer for sufficient back story, plus was able to project the historical idea but tread lightly enough to not offend those that were caught up in it, was impressive. You should imagine, with a sufficient budget, the ebook morphing into a mini-series. The performances of the actors (in particular the one testing the black South African who'd recently lost his family) were believable, engaging and consistent. There is included a romantic storyline - one which is based on true facts and thus one which gotta be included in any movie which has hopes of scoring successfully at the box office. The storyline was real and therefor wasn't unnecessary, and added to the sympathy for some South Africans who were obviously vs the mistreatment of their countrymen. The overall feel of the movie was one which was not overly 'Hollywood', yet still will be available to those who prefer western-style production. As a movie about photography the photos - still and moving - were pretty and emotionally very captivating. Anyone who has an interest in photography and/or social history could not miss this.


The fight rages on in the final days of apartheid in South Africa. "The Bang Bang Club" is a group of four, young, fearless photographers who drove in head first into the racial fighting. Why they did such a thing is certainly in question. At first, I would chalk it up to the male-driven need for action. Another reasons will be there, but even they question it after awhile.Writer and director Steven Silver is an established documentarian and this marks his transition into something a tiny more accessible. This certainly is. It's the kind of newest historical storyline that I wish to know more about. We only see the conflicts that are going on in South Africa through the lenses of these young men. The conflicts that take center scene are the internal ones between the nice of documenting the violence vs doing something about it. Interestingly, it's when two of them victory the Pulitzer Prize that their moral fibre is named into question.As fearless as the protagonists are, the filmmakers seemed to be a bit more timid. Although the violence is there in full view, it lacked most of the emotional impact it could have had. Unfortunately, this is the reason for the weak critics' rating. By the end you will be moved by the story, but you should have been moved all along.I found that it was a nice mission of view to an interesting time. It was shot on zone and achieved a nice look for an independent movie with the fraction of a Hollywood budget. "The Bang Bang Club" is a nice movie, a nice story, and it's worth experiencing.


THE BANG BANG CLUB, A MOVIE TIE-IN is as fine an introduction to the quality of the movie just released, a movie based on this book. The political history surrounding South Africa into which the four photographer journalists involve themselves is confusing at greatest and could be needed reading before the audience steps into the grim realities of the cinematic format. Other aspect that makes both the ebook and the movie of utmost importance is this past week's report of the deaths of two brilliant photographer journalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros in a very related case in Libya. South African writer/director Steven Silver adapted this ebook by Greg Marinovich and João Silva for the screen and using some of the photos from the original ebook and enhanced by reenactment of the horrors by cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak has successfully preserved all of the brutality and gore of the case in South Africa in 1994 - before the country was joined into a nation by Nelson Mandela. Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe) is a gratis lance photographer in and around Soweto and follows his instincts for a nice storyline by wandering into risky territory. He meets the three photographers who produce footage for Star picture editor Robin Comley (Malin Akerman) whose team consists of pothead Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch, in a fine, sensitive performance), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach, a very promising young actor), and João Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld). After proving his worth with a Pulitzer prize photograph of a burning boy the four young boys bond closely as the Bang Bang Gang and proceed to capture all of the fighting and incomparably cruel hostilities as the three fighting forces in the struggle for power in South Africa make the chaos of 1994. In a particularly touching stage Kevin photographs a starving kid being stalked by a hungry vulture and his photograph wins a second Pulitzer Prize for the group. But fight is fight and takes is mental and physical tolls on the Bang Bang Gang and only two survive to write the ebook whose journal like content provides the storyline for the film. This is a hard ebook to read and the resulting cinematic ver is equally as hard to watch. The cast of characters is perfect down to the smallest cameo appearances by the South African folks describing the atrocities that till their existence. An perfect ebook has been transformed in to an perfect film, albeit a movie that is harrowing to watch unfold. Grady Harp



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