Synopsis by Mark Deming
Four men with cameras put themselves in the middle of the action as a nation struggles to redefine itself in this drama based on a true story. In early 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after the president of South Africa lifted the ban on the African National Congress, the anti-apartheid party Mandela helped found, and in 1994 he became the nation's new leader. The final years of apartheid, however, were a time of chaos, uprising, and violence, and for the press, covering it was not unlike covering a war. Greg Marinovich (Ryan Phillippe), Kevin Carter (Taylor Kitsch), Ken Oosterbroek (Frank Rautenbach), and Joao Silva (Neels Van Jaarsveld) were four photojournalists who dedicated themselves to capturing the images of the fight for freedom in South Africa, but while the men were serious about their craft, their determination had as much to do with the rush of confronting danger and the desire to impress those around them -- especially women -- as their commitment to the principles of journalism. Eventually the four photographers became minor celebrities in their own right, though the danger they courted came with a price. Also starring Malin Akerman as the photographers' editor, Robin Comley, The Bang Bang Club was the first dramatic feature from Steven Silver, who previously made a name for himself in documentaries.
Apartheid, discrimination, events, South-Africa