Last night I attended the premiere of Steven Silver’s The Bang Bang Club at Roy Thompson Hall. It was showing as part of the Toronto International Film Festival, cast members Malin Akerman and Ryan Phillipe were both in attendance, Malin looked stunning wearing J.Mendel.
The Bang Bang Club was the name given to four combat photographers) Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach) and Joao Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld) who captured graphic & harrowing photographs during the final years of apartheid in South Africa. The drama is based on the book of the same name, by two of those photographers Greg Marinovich and Joao Silver.
I thought the film would really explore the poignant & central struggles that faced South Africa during apartheid, but in reality these issues didn’t come to light in any significant shape or form. The film did expose us to many disturbing scenes, some recreated from true events but with no lead up or follow through to the why, how & what is going on, it is hard to gain an understanding.
It was difficult to connect with the film as it jumps from these traumatic scenes to bars & nightclubs where we see the photographers drinking and socializing. Yes this is reality for these photographers, shooting horrific scenes one minute and then returning to normal daily life, but I never felt any real connection to the characters. We don’t get much insight into why they risk their lives each day to do what they do.
Ironically just as the photographers detach themselves from their chaotic surroundings, I felt detached from the characters in the film.
That been said it’s definitely an interesting story & the film is watchable, especially for those who have an interest in real life events or a passion for photography. It did spark my curiosity to learn more about The Bang Bang Club.
The Highlights; attending a gala premiere at Tiff, there is always a great buzz & lots of style. Seeing the cast up close & personal. It has inspired me to buy the book and learn more about The Bang Bang Club
Pictures are linked – courtesy of Toronto Sun, Calgary Sun & Flixster