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To many, Don McCullin is the greatest living war photographer, often cited as an inspiration for today's photojournalists. For the first time, McCullin speaks candidly about his three-decade career covering wars and humanitarian disasters on virtually every continent and the photographs that often defined historic moments. From 1969 to 1984, he was the Sunday Times of London's star photographer, where he covered stories from the civil war in Cyprus to the war in Vietnam, from the man-made famine in Biafra to the plight of the homeless in the London of the swinging sixties. Exploring not only McCullin's life and work, but how the ethos of journalism has changed throughout his career, the film is a commentary on the history of photojournalism told through the lens of one of its most acclaimed photographers.Written by
The Review: To be honest I have a soft spot for documentaries in general (despite my reputation as a lover a tat & blockbusters). So whilst I'm often impressed, I'm rarely wowed. But with a powerful story and captivating subject matter, Mccullin managed to do just that. And more.
The story: Celebrated photographer Don McCullin worked for The Sunday Times from 1966 to 1983, at a time when the newspaper was widely recognised as being at the cutting edge of international investigative photo-journalism. During that period he covered wars and humanitarian disasters on virtually every continent: from civil war in Cyprus, the war in Vietnam and the man-made famine in Biafra to the plight of the homeless in swinging sixties London.
Simply put McCullin is one of the most interesting films I have seen this year and certainly one of my top 5 favourite documentaries of all time.
Don McCullin is a fascinating subject from the start, open and honest about his time on the front line yet haunted by what he has seen and done (or not), a personal conflict the filmmakers capture perfectly.
McCullin arrives care of the producers of Award winning Senna. Which gives a long way to explaining the style the film takes and the successes it shares. A near perfect mix of archive footage, contemporary interview, and (naturally) his photographic work to tell a story that spans not just decades but some of the bloodiest and most heinous moments of modern history, all captured in their horrific detail by McCullin and in turn the filmmakers. And be warned this film shows some of the most horrific and disturbing of these images, from dying children to the true horrors of conflict, making it at times a very unsettling watch.
A run time that doesn't allow the film to hang around, backed up by some excellent editing make this technically interesting as well but none of this would count for anything (much like Senna before it) without the man at it's core.
So a brilliant, captivating film of a brilliant and captivating man and one of my Top 5 (maybe 3 ) films of 2013 so far.
A must see.
Reviewed By: Phil Hobden
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