Photojournalist Don McCullin finds a new audience


Analysis by Photography Week

A documentary film about legendary photojournalist Don McCullin has been garnering rave reviews in the UK, and is expected to be released in the US later this year. McCullin, a film by acclaimed documentary-makers David and Jacqui Morris, features the tagline, ‘Looking at what others cannot bear to see is what my life has been about’, and has been described by critics and photographers alike as a must-see film.

McCullin is rightly seen as one of the foremost photojournalists of the 20th century, but he’s also famously reclusive, so a feature-length documentary on his life and work provides the perfect primer for those unfamiliar with his work, and indeed those who are lifelong fans – if ‘fan’ is the correct word; McCullin was known for his uncompromising approach, and as a result his images are often as harrowing as they are compelling. As McCullin himself notes in the trailer to the film (above): “I’ve got to make sure that when they [newspaper readers] look at my pictures on a Sunday after breakfast that it’s going to hit them hard.”

It feels very timely: 50 years on from the hard-hitting journalism of the 1960s and ’70s, the world is once again facing war and insurgency on multiple fronts, and McCullin’s images resonate as much now as they did on the day they were first published.

For up-to-the-minute info on where the film’s showing visit For more on McCullin himself, his autobiography Unreasonable Behaviour comes highly recommended. Interestingly, McCullin has also just published In England, a look at his images – old and new – shot closer to home.

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