Think of any major conflict or famine since the late ’60s, and chances are that war photographer Don McCullin was there. His pictures count the human cost: a starving albino Nigerian boy whose legs are so thin it’s a wonder they can hold his body up; that famous shot of a shell-shocked Marine in Vietnam. Even just watching this impressive documentary, you feel a little unhinged by the scale of suffering.
Interviewed at home, McCullin, 77, comes across as a man possessed of moral conviction, direct and down-to-earth: ‘I’m not an artist or poet. I’m a photographer.’ His former editor at the Sunday Times calls him a ‘conscience with a camera’. And watching McCullin talk about the dignity of the people he photographs, I’m not surprised they let him into the most unimaginably harrowing moments of their lives. You would. McCullin also shows us some of his photos taken closer to home, some of Brits in deckchairs by the beach: ‘Eccentrics, you can get them by the busload here. I love it.’ What a man.