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The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club (2004)

The Life of Kevin Carter (original title)
In 1994, a South African photojournalist received the Pulitzer Prize for his picture of a starving girl stalked by a vulture. Weeks later, he carried out a terrible, desperate act--an act that embodied the anguish of an entire nation.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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In 1994, a South African photojournalist received the Pulitzer Prize for his picture of a starving girl stalked by a vulture. Weeks later, he carried out a terrible, desperate act--an act that embodied the anguish of an entire nation.

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Documentary | Short

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18 September 2004 (USA)  »

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The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club  »

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$11,000 (estimated)
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1.78 : 1
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Sad and quite disturbing look at what happened to a photo-journalist after he won a Pulitzer for a controversial photo
3 January 2007 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

This short, nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Documentary Short, is a look back at the life and death of South African photo-journalist Kevin Carter, done some ten years after his suicide shortly after he won a Pulitzer Prize for a photo he took of a skeletal girl who was struggling to reach a feeding station, all the while being shadowed by a vulture. The photo is very stark and disconcerting. Controversy erupted when a great many people attacked him for not putting down his camera and personally getting her to the feeding station himself.

After seeing this documentary, I can only say this: I wasn't in Kevin Carter's position. I do not know with any great certainty what I would have done in his position and I cannot condemn him for not forgetting his job, dropping his camera and helping the girl, because I don't know the circumstances. At the time, he was in an unstable area in the midst of a war. I do not know what was going on, I don't know how near the feeding station was (if it was close enough for Carter to be expected to get her safely there, then do the same people who accuse Carter of failure to render aid also hold the staff at the feeding station equally guilty for not trying to have someone sweep the area to help starving people nearby reach the station? After all, if it's safe enough for Carter to take the time to help the girl, is it not safe enough to patrol the area to help those in need as well?) and I cannot say for certain that he could have done anything to save the girl in any case.

If nothing else, this documentary will haunt me because of something Kevin Carter's daughter said regarding her father's death. I will not repeat her remarks here, as they should be seen and heard directly.

Very troubling piece and well worth seeing. Recommended.


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