Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"The BangBang Club" with Ryan Phillippe and Malin Akerman (2011)

When you open your morning paper; or turn on your TV for news; you are confronted by images that, while they may be unpleasant, represent the reality of the world in which we live. This film tells the story of the men; and women; who take those photos; and the people who buy them. The subject is deftly handled by director Steven Silver, who explores the difference between journalism and opportunism, in war torn South Africa in the early 1990’s, as Apartheid was dying.

As the vacuum of leadership under the Mandela rule, the new country was plagued with tribal warfare, largely in the area of Soweto, where some of this story takes place. The ANC, the African Army, took sides in the tribal warfare that erupted between the newly freed South Africans, and their Hutu rivals, who had come to South Africa for jobs. This warfare required the newly formed government to take sides, aiding the native Zulus against the immigrant workers, resulting in massacres.
Into the middle of all of this comes fresh faced photographer Greg Marinovich , played by Ryan Phillippe, who fearlessly goes where no one else has dared to go before; inside the Zulu camps to hear their side of the story.  He is then befriended by the local photographers who freelance for the leading publications of our time and call themselves the “BangBang Club.” When Greg witnesses a man being burned alive; and wins the Pulitzer Prize for it; he begins to question his own motives; as well as his colleagues; in their pursuit of the news.

A very realistic look at the side of the news we do not ordinarily see, this film is contemporary and speaks to the inhumanity of man against man, as well as what drives those of us who stand on the side and watch, or the ones who take the photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment