The Bang Bang Club

Synopsis: A drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa.
Director(s): Steven Silver
Production: Tribeca
  8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

Well, I'm delighted to have

in the studio with me today,

award-winning photojournalist

Kevin Carter.

We've read a lot

about the so called Bang Bang Club.

Is there in fact such a club?

Um, I mean, this, it's just a label.

I mean, almost a joke really.

Somebody called us that, and...

We go out together...

on assignments

and so we're always together.

You know, safety in numbers.

That's the idea.

And are you competitive

amongst yourselves?

- I mean, do you compete?

- Oh yeah.

Everybody, at the end of the day,

wants to come back with the best shot.

So Kevin, what do you think

makes a photograph great?




Soweto residents say that

in the early hours of this morning,

members of the Inkatha Freedom Party

attacked sections of Soweto,

known to be sympathetic to the ANC.

Armed with hangers and spears and

wearing their signature red headbands,

the Inkatha warriors marched

into a number of residential areas...


Hey, bru! Get out of my f***in' frame.


- Who are you?

- Greg Marinovich.

Kevin. Kevin Carter.


- Who are you working for?

- I'm freelance.

No sh*t.

- Hey, are we finished here?

- Yeah.

Looks like it.

Ignore him.

Chief photographer at The Star.

Yeah, I know.

Now he's all pissed off

'cause he missed the action.

- Kevin, you ready?

- Coming!

Forget the long lens, bru.

Stuff only looks good up close.

Good luck.

Thanks, bru.

Hey, gents.

Why'd they kill him?

They don't need a reason.

We are ANC and they are Inkatha.



Where are you going?

I'm going to go talk to them,

in the hostel.

That's a shortcut to heaven.

Ah well. I want to see for myself.

What's that mean?

I'll tell them what happened to you.



What do you want here, man?

I'm press.

I'm press.

- Please, please...

- Ay, ay, ay, ay...

I'm a photographer.

I just... I just want to talk.

Why are you here?

I'm a photographer.

I'm just looking for some pictures.

Sit down.

- Thanks.

- Yeah...

Hey, what's this?

Drink, drink, drink.

What are you going to do

with our picture?

I want to tell

Inkatha's side of the story.

Why you don't do

like all the other journalists do?

They're going to the township

and they speak to the clevers,

- the ANC comrades. Why?

- No, no, no.

I want to hear your side of the story.

Can I ask what happened today?

You must listen

and I want you to understand.

You see?

We, we come here for one reason.

One reason only.

To work.

And these comrades, the Mandela boys,

they are telling us not to go to work.

They say we must join the stay-away.

Now what if we get expelled

from our jobs?

Are they going to give us money

to take care of our children?

Are they going to give us money

to take care of our families back home?

My brother was stopped by this comrade.

He was from the shop,

carrying the plastic bag full of food.

They told him that there was a boycott,

so he should not go and buy food.

After that, you know what they did?

They made him drink cooking oil

and paraffin

and also they pushed

washing powder in his mouth.

What kind of a place is this

where children,

they tell their elders what to do?

I mean, what kind of a place is this

where children do not

obey their parents?

Today we taught them a very good lesson.

Ay, ay, ay, ay...


Okay, okay.

What's going on?

He's the enemy.

He's been shooting at everybody.

I don't hear any shots.

Not a problem. Not a problem.

He's not Zulu.

He's a Xhosa like Mandela.

He deserves to die.

Goodbye, my friend.

Shoot us.

- I'm looking for the photo editor.

- Just in there.

Excuse me?

I'm looking for the photo editor.

I'm Robin Comley.

I'm the picture editor.

Hey. My new china. How's it?

- How's it, bru?

- What do you want, man?

I've got some pictures

from inside the hostel.

In the hostel? You don't mean inside?

- Yeah, inside.

- Are you serious?


You must be out of your mind.

Let's see them.

Ken, show him the dark room.

Let's go.

Went in!

They're fantastic, Ron.


Oh, f*** me. I can't use them.

Our readers might find it a bit much

over their Rice Krispies

tomorrow morning.

Ron, are you ever gonna grow some?

We can use this one and this one

as a Sunday feature.

We don't get images like this every day.

Yeah. All right. Maybe.

Just show me a layout.

The framing's weak.

Half of them are soft.


Greg, do you have a portfolio?


So which way did you get in, bru?

I could see where they were going

and I just followed them.

So did anyone stop you?

Were they cool with you?

I thought they were

going to kill me, yeah,

- but I could shoot for the most part.

- F***!

- It's not bad.

- F***ing Speen is back, man.

I was shooting some old time rituals.

It's a circumcision ceremony there.

You shoot colour too, huh?

Yeah, but this isn't the F64 club, bru.

Yeah, what he means is our sh*t

doesn't sit still. Not like this.

I like this stuff.

It's not bad.

Okay, I'm out of here.

I think it's going to be better

if we go in earlier.

Everybody else can sleep late

and file sh*t.

I'll see you there, bru.

- Cheers, Rob.

- Cheers.

Joao. Joao Silva.



- I told you to get in close, didn't I?

- You did, yeah.

Well done, bru. Well done.

The, ah... the bill...

I don't have my wallet...

- I got it, Kev, I got it.

- Thank you.

Did I just get a job?

No. Only Ken and Kevin are full-time.

But I'll give you the same deal as Joao.

On days that you work for us,

I'll pay you a day rate.

You get paid the same if we use

all of your pics or none of them.

But you can sell

what we don't to AP or Reuters.

That's where you make your real money.

Here. It's for today's pics.


Why did you go out there today?

Because it scared me.

Because it scared you?

Do you always do things

just because they scare you?

Not always, but sometimes.

Can I buy you dinner?

Can you afford to buy me dinner?

Oh, I can now.

This time I'll buy you dinner. Use that

to buy yourself a better camera.

We'll have to make it quick.

I have to be back at work in 40 minutes.

Why don't you just get a new strap, bru?

Because it's leather.

I'm ready. I'm ready.

The new guy.

- How's it?

- New gear?

- Yeah.

- Oh.

Ready for some fun?

One second.

It protects...

the advance mechanism on the bottom.

I just saved you money on resale, bru.

- Yeah?

- Yeah.

How's it, Greg?

How's it?

- Nice camera, man.

- Thanks, bru.

So what's the weather report?

They say there's

about 2,000 Inkatha warriors

two clicks from here.

They're heavily armed.

They're on their way to the comrades.

Let's go.

- Yeah.

- Let's go!

Hey, Joao, is that a f***ing scanner?


You're a criminal degenerate,

you know that?

If the cops catch us with that,

- they'll put us in f***ing jail, man.

- Well if they stop us,

- it belongs to the new guy.

- Thanks.

It's down there.

Right there.

Ah, what have we got here?

This is fun.

Just smile and be cool.

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Steven Silver

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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