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The Bang Bang Club (2010)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,487 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 23 user | 75 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.

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(book), (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Neels Van Jaarsveld ...
...
Ken Oosterbroek
Nina Milner ...
Samantha
Jessica Haines ...
Allie
Russel Savadier ...
Lika Berning ...
Vivian (as Lika van den Bergh)
Kgosi Mongake ...
Patrick
Patrick Shai ...
Pegleg
Alfred Kumalo ...
Alf Khumalo (as Alf Khumalo)
Craig Palm ...
Amir
...
Colin
...
Jim (James Nachtwey)
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Storyline

A drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.

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Taglines:

Sometimes you get too close See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, disturbing images, pervasive language, some drug use and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

22 July 2011 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Fotógrafos de la muerte  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin Carter's daughter Megan Carter is featured in the bar scene where she turns around and says 'you must be Ken Oosterbroek'. Standing next to her there is Kevin Carter's step daughter Sian Lloyd. See more »

Goofs

In the film Kevin Carter plays the song "Just" by Radiohead on his radio show. However the song was released in 1995 after Kevin's death. See more »

Quotes

Kevin Carter: They're right. All those people who say it's our job to just sit and watch people die. They're right.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.81 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Take It Easy
By Mein
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User Reviews

 
The Book is Brilliant, The Film is even Superior
23 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE BANG BANG CLUB, A MOVIE TIE-IN is as fine an introduction to the quality of the film just released, a film based on this book. The political history surrounding South Africa into which the four photographer journalists involve themselves is confusing at best and should be required reading before the audience steps into the grim realities of the cinematic format. Another aspect that makes both the book and the film 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 similar situation in Libya.

South African writer/director Steven Silver adapted this book by Greg Marinovich and João Silva for the screen and using some of the images from the original book and enhanced by reenactment of the horrors by cinematographer Miroslaw Baszak has successfully preserved all of the brutality and gore of the situation in South Africa in 1994 - before the country was joined into a nation by Nelson Mandela. Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe) is a free lance photographer in and around Soweto and follows his instincts for a good story by wandering into dangerous territory. He meets the three photographers who produce footage for Star picture editor Robin Comley (Malin Akerman) whose crew 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 man the four young men 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 create the chaos of 1994. In a particularly touching scene Kevin photographs a starving child being stalked by a hungry vulture and his photograph wins a second Pulitzer Prize for the group. But war is war and takes is mental and physical tolls on the Bang Bang Gang and only two survive to write the book whose journal like content provides the story for the film.

This is a difficult book to read and the resulting cinematic version is equally as difficult to watch. The cast of characters is excellent down to the smallest cameo appearances by the South African people describing the atrocities that till their existence. An excellent book has been transformed in to an excellent film, albeit a film that is harrowing to watch unfold.

Grady Harp


43 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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