I will be honest in that i did not know who Don McCullin was until a month ago, when i watched this documentary. But i can say that this is one of the most influential movies i have ever seen.
Don McCullin is an English photojournalist who is renowned for shining a light on the dark side of humanity, telling the story of those impoverished, war stricken people all around the world. Growing up on the mean streets of Finsbury in London and doing a stint in the RAF eventually led him to take the photo of a notorious gang that ran in the Observer in 1959. It was this photo that started his journey of storytelling, across all continents and of all cultures from Biafra and Northern Island to Vietnam and parts of Africa through the AIDS Epidemic. Often finding himself amongst brave, shocking and horrific tales of human suffering he earned himself a reputation as a fearless truth teller. Starting out as a self-confessed ‘war junkie’ he develops an incredibly deep and sensitive consciousness that i believe is reflected in the tone and timing of his photographs.
As the Falklands reared its ugly head he was not allowed to go, which was at the time believed to be because the government of Margaret Thatcher did not want his hard hitting photos to hit the pages of the papers, reducing sentiment for the actions of war. Wikipedia states that this was not the case, but was infact a simple lack of Royal Navy ‘press passes’.
He is one of those people that you cannot stop listening too, and this film is no different. Intelligent and reflective of his actions he makes no attempt to glamorise his work, and is openly abhorred by the lows our species can stoop to. This film was directed by David Morris and Jacqui Morris and nominated for 2 BAFTA awards.
Inspirational, uplifting, terrifying, sobering and questioning; this story must be heard.
Here are some of the photos that he has taken, showing the cold face of many human crisis and often being responsible for questions to be asked by the populations to those in power.