Pic screens at Gotham film fest

Real-world events hung over the Tribeca Film Fest screening of “The Bang Bang Club,” the drama — starring Ryan Phillippe, Taylor Kitsch and Malin Akerman — about photojournalists covering combat zones.

The day before Thursday’s opening (followed by a party at La Bottega), journos Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros had been killed in Libya. And Joao Silva, one of the two surviving photogs whose time covering South African unrest in the early 1990s is chronicled in the pic, couldn’t make it to Tribeca because he’d been severely injured in Afghanistan.

Helmer Steven Silver explained that almost all of the scenes re-creating historical events were shot where they occurred. “Sometimes we were shooting not just in the area but the exact city block,” he said. “For some of the local extras, it was an act of remembering, not of acting.”

— Gordon Cox

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