ARCHIVE: In Conversation with Don McCullin

I made a film about Don McCullin in 2009. I hung on every word he had to say. And since then I think I have watched and read every interview with him.

The United Nations of Photography

Credit: Jeff Ascough Credit: Jeff Ascough

I’m driving through Somerset on a grim, cold January morning to meet Don McCullin. Somerset is bleak and the trees are stripped bare of their leaves. The landscape lacks the mood and drama of McCullin’s photographs of Somerset, but still, it feels like I am driving through one of them. The roads get narrower, the buildings older and there is hardly a soul in sight. Besides the occasional car I pass, there is little evidence that the 20th century came and went. As I draw near to McCullin’s village, I stop to ask for directions. The elderly man has second guessed me. “You want Don McCullin” he says. I notice the local hunt gathering in a field nearby. We are a long way from Finsbury Park.

I am going to meet one of the most famous, respected and decorated war photographers in the world. During the 1960s…

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