Monday, May 23, 2011

The Bang Bang Club: Movie Review

Internal conflict between observation and action.

The war rages on in the final days of apartheid in South Africa. "The Bang Bang Club" is a group of four, young, fearless photographers who drove in head first into the racial fighting. Why they did such a thing is certainly in question. At first, I would chalk it up to the male-driven need for action. Other reasons will be there, but even they question it after awhile.2010

Directed by: Steven Silver

Screenplay by: Steven Silver

Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch

Writer and director Steven Silver is an established documentarian and this marks his transition into something a little more accessible. This certainly is. It's the type of recent historical story that I want to know more about. We only see the conflicts that are going on in South Africa through the lenses of these young men. The conflicts that take center stage are the internal ones between the good of documenting the violence versus doing something about it. Interestingly, it's when two of them win the Pulitzer Prize that their moral fibre is called into question.

As fearless as the protagonists are, the filmmakers seemed to be a bit more timid. Although the violence is there in full view, it lacked most of the emotional impact it should have had. Unfortunately, this is the reason for the low critics' rating. By the end you will be moved by the story, but you could have been moved all along.

I found that it was a great point of view to an interesting time. It was shot on location and achieved a great look for an independent film with the fraction of a Hollywood budget. "The Bang Bang Club" is a good movie, a great story, and it's worth experiencing.


Conviction (2010) - The dreariness of life in jail balanced with true brotherly love.

Hotel Rwanda (2004) - Extreme emotion and devotion in the face of genocide.

The Last King of Scotland (2006) - Fiction and truth in a fight for survival of one's self and humanity.

Into the Wild (2007) - A beautiful personal struggle against society and survival.