The Bang Bang Club | Chicago Reader

The Bang Bang Club

Rated R 109 minutes 2011

Based on Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva's 2000 book The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots From a Hidden War, this remarkable fact-based 2010 drama chronicles the activities of a group of white photojournalists (including Marinovich and Silva) whose pictures documented the violent struggle for black political supremacy in 1990s South Africa between Nelson Mandela's progressive African National Congress and its reactionary rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party. Director-writer Steven Silver deftly juxtaposes exciting (and sometimes horrific) battle re-creations with scenes of the photographers' personal lives. The focus of the story is the moral ambiguity of the situation, as these scruffy adrenaline junkies risked their lives to raise awareness of South Africa's "hidden war" while also exploiting the conflict for profit and Pulitzers. The superb cast includes Ryan Phillippe and Neels Van Jaarsveld as Marinovich and Silva, Taylor Kitsch and Frank Rautenbach as their fellow photogs, and Malin Akerman as Marinovich's editor and lover.

Film Credits

Director: Steven Silver

Producer: Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron, Adam Friedlander, Steven Silver, Kweku Amuah, Laslo Barna, Neil Tabatznik and Patrice Theroux

Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Taylor Kitsch, Malin Akerman, Frank Rautenbach, Neels Van Jaarsveld, Patrick Lyster and Russel Savadier

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