7.0/10
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31 user 78 critic

The Bang Bang Club (2010)

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

Director:

Steven Silver

Writers:

Steven Silver, Greg Marinovich (based on the book by) | 2 more credits »
8 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Phillippe ... Greg Marinovich
Malin Akerman ... Robin Comley
Taylor Kitsch ... Kevin Carter
Neels van Jaarsveld Neels van Jaarsveld ... João
Frank Rautenbach ... Ken
Nina Milner Nina Milner ... Samantha
Jessica Haines Jessica Haines ... Allie
Lika Berning Lika Berning ... Vivian (as Lika van den Bergh)
Kgosi Mongake Kgosi Mongake ... Patrick
Russel Savadier Russel Savadier ... Ronald
Patrick Shai Patrick Shai ... Pegleg
Alfred Kumalo Alfred Kumalo ... Alf Khumalo (as Alf Khumalo)
Craig Palm Craig Palm ... Amir
Nick Boraine ... Colin
Patrick Lyster ... Jim
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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 »


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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Germany]

Country:

Canada | South Africa

Language:

English | Zulu | Xhosa | Afrikaans

Release Date:

22 July 2011 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Fotógrafos de la muerte See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full 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 »

Crazy Credits

Photos taken by the real photographers, including portraits of each other, are used as a backdrop during the first section of the credits. The taking of some of these photographs is portrayed in the film itself. See more »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Mean Streets
Written by Max Mallinick
Performed by Mein
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Book is Brilliant, The Film is even Superior
23 April 2011 | by gradyharpSee 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


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