Film festivals are a strange animal. With hundreds of films to look to look at, it’s inevitable that some will get unfairly ignored or overlooked such as the recent “Cracks” which premiered at TIFF in 2009 and is only hitting theaters now. And such is the case with “The Bang Bang Club.” It premiered at TIFF last year to virtually zero pre-screening buzz and then promptly fell off. We certainly didn’t get a chance to check it out, but judging by the latest trailer we can see why word was a bit muted.
Starring Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman, Taylor Kitsch, Neels Van Jaarsveld and Frank Rautenbach the film tells the true story of combat photographers who risk life and limb to cover the first free elections in post-Apartheid South Africa in the early ’90s. But, my word, those accents. Kitsch actually comes out okay but Phillippe and Akerman seem to have trouble holding onto them even in the brief moments in the trailer. It’s frankly pretty distracting. Accents aside, the film itself looks fairly run of the mill and the direction by Steven Silver has a certain made-for-TV quality to it.
Guess we’ll have to see when the film hits on April 22nd. Synopsis and trailer below (or in HD at Apple).
The Bang Bang Club is the real life story of a group of four young combat photographers – Greg Marinovich, Joao Silva, Kevin Carter and Ken Oosterbroek – bonded by friendship and their sense of purpose to tell the truth. They risked their lives and used their camera lenses to tell the world of the brutality and violence associated with the first free elections in post Apartheid South Africa in the early 90s. This intense political period brought out their best work (two won Pulitzers during the period) but cost them a heavy price. Based on the book of the same name by Marinovich and Silva, the film stars Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch and explores the thrill, danger and moral questions associated with exposing the truth.