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The Bang Bang Club (2010)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,702 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 ...
Frank Rautenbach ...
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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not always black and white 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:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

22 July 2011 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Fotógrafos de la muerte  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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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 Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Just
Written by Thom Yorke
Performed by Radiohead
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why the current low rating?!
3 February 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It is possible that my score of 9 might be a bit inflated because I am headed to South Africa in a few weeks and the timeliness of this film made me more inclined to like it. However, despite my enjoyment at learning about recent South African history, I still can't see this film being rated any lower than 8--it's THAT good.

"The Bang Bang Club" is a movie that you might assume is mostly fictional. After all, the characters seem so incredibly brave as well as foolhardy. However, to my surprise, all of these folks are based on real people! It's the story about a small group of insane photojournalists--guys who frequently brave death by going into the battle zone of Soweto, South Africa during the very tumultuous time as apartheid was ending (the early 1990s). Within this township, folks from the Inkatha Freedom Party (made up of Zulus) waged battle with members of the African National Congress--as well as anyone who happened to get trapped in the middle. Apart from killing thousands, the battles also tended to strengthen the notion by many white South Africans that mob rule would occur if these blacks were given the right to vote and become full citizens. Fortunately, time has proved this to be wrong.

Now these fights were NOT simple affairs involving spears or knives. While these were sometimes used, automatic weapons and the like were also employed--making the idea of folks going into the township to document the violence seem crazy. And, as the film progresses, you wonder how long these guys will be able to do this work until some of them start to die. But in spite of this danger, Pulitzer Prizes and great fame came to these men--as well as the moniker 'Bang Bang Club' due to their exploits.

The film is very tense, well-paced, interesting and, in an odd way, quite enjoyable. My only complaint is that at times (especially at the beginning) the film tries too hard to 'sex up' the group--using way too many cover model sorts to make this seem very realistic. They are simply too hip and too beautiful to be believable. This is especially apparent if you watch the excellent 'making of' documentary on the DVD, as you see two of these folks in real life and they do NOT look like GQ models. You don't see their girlfriends and wives, but I cannot imagine they looked as sexy as the ladies in this one! But, underneath it all, the film still is quite compelling--and unnerving. Well worth seeing--even if you aren't planning on going to South Africa or Soweto (where I will go--but in a heavily sanitized tour bus!!).


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