Last night was the world Gala screening of “The Bang Bang Club”. I was very reluctant to see this film. A few years ago my Aunt sent me a photo of a little girl in Africa being stalked by a vulture/buzzard it was a horrifying image. At first you see the child and the bird and then you realize what KIND of bird it is and the see the state of this child and you realize what the picture is depicting.
The Bang Bang Club is the story of 4 young white South African photographers and they’re work through the early ’90’s during the apartheid period. One of these photographers is the man who took that photo, Kevin Carter. The movie is told from the view-point of Greg Marinovich and is based on the book that he and Joao Silva wrote.
It is an extraordinary story, one I’m sure has far more horrifying parts to it that are revealed in the 2 hour movie. Growing up in Canada we really don’t have an understanding of how war affects us, although our troops are abroad and there have been a great many deaths while they protects us, it’s certainly not like this. This movie depicts the war that was in the streets of the cities, which we certainly don’t have here. I can’t imagine an all out war in our city streets. These young photographers risked their lives to get the pictures and stories so that the rest of the world would know what was happening in their country.
The screening was in Roy Thompson Hall, and the venue was full. The Canadian and South African Producers were on hand, as well as the director who has worked for at least a decade to make this film happen. Actors Ryan Phillippe and Malin Akerman were also there to greet the crowd.
I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this film it sucked me in from the beginning. I immediately became interested in the lives of these 4 young photographers, the passion they had for photography and their country. They were able to tell the stories of how the government pitted one tribe against another using long ingrained cultural arguments to further their own cause and although that was touched on in the film, it is really about how the horrors of this time affected the photographers.
I would highly recommend this movie, when it is released near you please go and see it. Not only does that support Canadian Films, it really is an important movie with a wonderful story. Something you don’t often get to see these days.