With a career that spans over 60 years, Sir Don McCullin is one of the most respected documentary photographers of all time and currently has a major retrospective exhibition at the Tate Modern. He has been filmed discussing his photography many times during his long career, but rarely has he been shown shooting in the field. So when plans were mooted to produce a documentary showing him in action, local photographer and filmmaker Clive Booth knew he had a rare opportunity that would make the photographic world sit up and take note. The question was, where did Don want to turn his lens? He said, “We should go to Kolkata. It’s the most unbelievable city in the world.”
McCullin in Kolkata, directed by Clive Booth, documents legendary British photojournalist Sir Don McCullin’s trip to shoot the street people of Kolkata. It uncovers the colour and chaotic energy of the city, as well as revealing the veteran lensman’s fascinating views on photography and life. ‘The whole crew were shocked by the extraordinary energy and endurance of the then 82-year-old Don. “The years just disappeared and his reactions were phenomenally quick,’ says Clive. ‘He was like a caged animal in the car, champing at the bit to get started. Something would catch his eye and he would say, ‘Stop, stop, stop! We’ve got to get this,’ and he’d be off. Don is always looking, the radar’s on the whole time.” Clive will share the story of how the documentary was made, from the initial concept of shooting in The Lebanon (until ISIS moved in and it became to dangerous), to Turkey where there was a coup (and it became too politically unstable), to Don’s suggestion to revisit the streets of Kolkata after fifty years and photograph the desperate plight of the street people.Back to full listing.