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4.9 out of 5 stars
96
McCullin [DVD]
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on 2 April 2017
A great film about this amazing, fabulous photographer
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on 2 November 2017
not damaged, arrived on time
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on 27 March 2017
I have previous books by Sir Don McCullin, and this excellent DVD, is an additional bonus. A lifelong hero of mine. I look forward to any future offerings by this Iconic photographer.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 March 2013
There has been a public perception of war photographers as being voyeuristic ghouls who intrude heartlessly into peoples most intimate and grief stricken moments. A perception not without some foundation on occasions! But after you listen to Don McCullin speaking honestly to the camera, that perception is immediately challenged. There were many times that he stepped in to help the wounded and dying. He has seen more evil in this world than any man has a right to, and has remained on the evidence of this documentary an essentially decent man. To emerge from continual immersement in a 'heart of darkness' experience of extreme barbarism still intact is some achievement. Only the mental scars remain which McCullin tells us about in his frank interviews.

This is a documentary that is saturated with the searingly painful, but deeply honest black and white images of Don McCullin's startlingly insightful photography. These are images that tell a story more than any film can ever do. A smiling group of men In Beirut by a dead womans body, with one man incomprehensively playing a lute. Another showing a group of fighters with a dog bizarrely sat happily amongst them. McCullin only ever manufactured one picture in his life, and that was an understandable exception in Vietnam. His photographs reek of honesty and truth. As Robert Capa did for the the Spanish Civil War and the Second world War, McCullin did the same in numerous 20th century conflicts. Cyprus, Vietnam, the Congo, Cambodia, Beirut and the horrors of starving children in Biafra. McCullin was there in the thick of things armed only with his instrument of truth, capturing the real victims of war, the innocents! Pictures that can truly 'paint a thousand words'!

No wonder after Vietnam that governments decided to control such mavericks as McCullin. Those images swayed public opinion so much that there was an outcry against foreign interventions. Nowadays we get a much more sanitised version of events. McCullin became a victim of his own success! But his images live on and so does he! Robert Capa died in Indochina and McCullin himself was fortunate to survive those conflicts with his life. He was a self confessed war junkie who was famed for never shirking from the very heart of the action. Sir Harold Evans a former editor of the Sunday Times and a man of integrity speaks intelligently and with great respect about McCullin's canon of work. Today McCullin is still active taking pictures of the English countryside from his home in deepest rural Somerset, far away from the sound of the guns and the madness. Like me he hates the sound of a chainsaw in the distance as it tolls the death knell for some tree. Sadly when asked in a Parkinson interview if his images have made a difference, he had to give an honest no. Wars continue unabated as they have done from the dawn of time, and will no doubt still rage whilst man exists on this planet. This is a far more powerful anti war statement than any film could hope to achieve. You come away with the uneasy feeling that man is not a great species, despite its capacity for goodness! Beirut Christian militia armed to the teeth with weapons of destruction is a telling image! I once carried weapons of death, but no more thank God! This documentary just reinforces that thought! Essential viewing!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 March 2013
I recall reading Don McCullin's autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour and feeling so taken in by the book that I actually wrote to him to say that I hope that he could lay his demons to rest. Watching this film bought all those emotions back again and it seems that Don McCullins demons are still their and he feels as shocked and apprehensive about War and being there as he ever did.

Now, don't think this is a depressing documentary. It isn't. If anything its uplifting and inspirational. I just want to go out there and take more images on my camera. This film does that for you. I don't mean I want to shoot war and Don McCullin didn't and does just do war. he photographs landscapes, street photography and also has had a recent book about ancient Rome.

The documentary has depth. It is 1 hour 30 minutes long and for me that just wasn't long enough. However there is approximately another 30 minutes of scenes not used and these should be watched as they also help the documentary and you get a better feel for Don McCullin.

This will be a keeper for me and look forward to watching it with my other DVD on Cartier-BBression, Ansel Adams, Annie Liebowitz an Paul Strand. Don McCullin deserves to be added to that majestic role call.
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on 2 October 2017
At times this is virtually unwatchable, but not in the way that the latest Hollywood Marvel dreck is an affront, but because there are only so many images people can see of the destroyed bodies in Vietnam and the Congo, dying children in Biafra, disabled children covered in flies, and grieving families in the Lebanon before you are emotionally overcome. After watching this film, it was genuinely hard to go about normal life for a period; I felt haunted by the images, appalled by the inhumanity of war and famine and guilty about my own comfortable existence.

I particularly liked to hear about the contributions McCullin made himself on the front line aside from taking photos: carrying old ladies away from gunfire; loading injured soldiers onto his jeep to take them to hospital; and giving out food to dying children. There is a perception that war photographers are parasites, preying on the vulnerable and dying, so it was good to hear this side of McCullin. I have to say, having also watched the excellent James Nachtwey documentary, War Photographer, McCullin and Nachtwey come across as the most humble and humane people perhaps because they have experienced the absolute worst of humanity.

One thing particularly struck me - each of the events and wars McCullin covers is accompanied by film and newsreel footage and every time McCullin's images are better composed and more arresting than the film footage. He has an incredible knack of capturing the right moment. It's also interesting to hear McCullin refer a few times to him learning a trade - he had to work at his craft; he wasn't simply born a great photographer, though clearly he has a wonderfully creative eye.

This is a fantastic documentary about an incredible photographer who has captured so many indelible moments. The Instagram generation may not appreciate it - the photos are in black and white with no fancy bokeh, filters and light-leakage effects. Yet the images are more powerful and resonant than 99% of the images with which we are bombarded today. And the documentary touches on the reasons why: today our news and images are sanitized and vetted, with newspapers owned by barons with close political ties with no pretense of independence.

One question though: did it make any difference? Did McCullin's reportage change things for the better? Interestingly, he says no. I like to think the answer is yes, but he's probably right.

For people interested in war photographers in Vietnam, I recommend watching Camera at War, a mid-90s BBC documentary that can be found on a certain popular video website, McCullin is one of the interviewees.
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on 28 May 2017
For me, one of the greats and a real, brave, soldier-photographer who, humbly, never lost his respect for humanity, however disrespectful its crueler elements were towards it. Good to see him finding solace in later years in his immediate landscape, never as perfidious as so many who tread it without regards for its future. For me, DM and the Sunday Times supplement almost single-handedly defined an era: mine.
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on 26 June 2017
Fascinating insight into the world i grew up in and as McCullin himself says...the insanity of war.
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on 8 May 2017
If you're interested in Don Mccullin and his photography then this DVD is a must have. Thoroughly recommend this DVD
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on 5 February 2013
I had heard McCullin talk at the Oxford Literary Festival a couple of years back and had been very impressed with his work (obviously) but also his articulacy. Of course I had grown up looking at his pictures in the Sunday Times and elsewhere and I knew his name - but had no real feeling for the man behind the name. Fascinating and a very clear, distinct and precise talker.

I thought his pictures of Leptis Magna I saw back then were superb and as I learned more I realise that many of the defining images of conflict (for me) of the past 40 years were his photographs - Vietnam of course, but also Biafra, Lebanon, London (not so much conflict but amazing pictures of a passing world) and many others.

He is only a couple of years older than me - so he has been documenting my past - and I found it fascinating and, given his choice of subjects, very moving. The film is stunning - partly because of his lucid commentary but mainly because it takes you back through those horrors that you had managed to forget - Shatila, the Congo, Biafra, and of course - above all - Vietnam.

But there were also conflicts new to me - eg the Greek-Turkish "civil war" in Cyprus which was pretty much the beginning of his career as a war photographer - immensely powerful and moving pictures from a European country

I strongly, strongly recommend this. If you watch it in a cinema then I guess that most audiences will file out as ours did - in silence and thoughtfully.
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