The Bang Bang Club

(2010)

Genres: Drama

Review: The Bang Bang Club

Transcript for Review: The Bang Bang Club

CHRISTY LEMIRE
Ok, going back to some new movies coming out. Our next film is "The Bang Bang Club," based on the true story of a group of photographers in South Africa right around the end of apartheid.  Ryan Phillippe stars as Greg Marinovich, who co-wrote the book that inspired the film. He and the other shooters put themselves in harm's way to capture this violent story. But somehow he clearly still finds time to go to the gym, and woo a photo editor, played by Malin Akerman.

CLIP 1 -- Ryan and Malin kissing while looking at photos

CHRISTY
Writer-director Steven Silver only hints at the ethical dilemma the photographers face by immersing themselves in this deadly situation but doing nothing to help those in danger. These guys do the best work of their careers -- and two of them win Pulitzers -- but at what cost?

CLIP 2

CHRISTY
"The Bang Bang Club" glorifies these guys as rock stars. They're all so good-looking, with just the right amount of facial scruff.  We barely get to know them or what motivates them. And the real-life photos of these men and their work, which play alongside the closing credits, only serve as a reminder of how little we've learned, and how superficial this film truly is. Thumbs down.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY
This is the third film that we’ve done on the show that deals with you know a recent socio-political conflict by using a small froup of characters and it’s the only one that doesn’t apire to be a work of art.

CHRISTY:
Yes, it’s the most superficial.

IGNATIY:
It apsires to be entertainment.  It is also my favorite so far of those three films.

CHRISTY:
Okay.

IGNATIY:
And I’ll tell you why.  You said the movie glorifies them, treats them as rock stars.  That’s completely untrue.  You know, the ethical dilemmas aren’t ignored.  They are the plot of the movie.

CHRISTY:
They’re partying, chicks dig them, they’re totally arrogant.

IGNATIY:
They are arrogant and that’s the whole point.  This is a movie about a group of people who essentially exploit the suffering of others and eventually that takes their toll on them.  I mean that’s pretty much the entire second half of the film.

CHRISTY:
On one, on one of them I would say. When they’re being hammered with questions about why didn’t you do anything, they kind of just skirt that and I don’t think I really ever understand how it bothers them if at all.

IGNATIY:
But I think that’s part of the point.  They’re rejecting an aspect of their humanity.  We can’t you know as ordinary people, we can’t really understand why someone would ever take a picture instead of helping a person in need and every now and then they have this moral crisis, but they just keep going because they like to party, because they like to win awards.  They have this whole macho thing where they have to one up each other.

CHRISTY:
It’s not effective.  The true history is actually much more effective.