The Bang Bang Club


True story of four combat photographers during South African apartheid Discuss this article

When will filmmakers tire of filtering African atrocity through the viewfinder of white privilege? South African director Steven Silver, at least, is a local. So are his swaggering protagonists. Set in the early ’90s, this true story follows four combat photographers who earned fame and money snapping action photos during the final days of apartheid.

We’re meant to be outraged. The Bang Bang Club wants to stoke our righteous indignation, but it’s far too busy lionising its daredevil subjects. Silver isn’t so different from his camera-toting characters; he sees only opportunity in Africa’s war-ravaged countenance. All the bloodshed eventually takes a psychological toll on Phillippe’s paparazzo. While he sulks, we wonder: shouldn’t our empathy lie with those on the other side of the lens?

By AA Dowd
Time Out Doha,

The Bang Bang Club

  • Duration: 106
  • Released: Thu, 17 Jan
  • Classification: 18+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Steven Silver
  • Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Malin Åkerman, Taylor Kitsch, Frank Rautenbach

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