Movies like The Hurt Locker are affecting narratives of war, but they don’t come close to the raw reality seen in the gripping and haunting new documentary Restrepo (in select theaters 6/25).
Made by journalists Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger and awarded a top prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Restrepo chronicles the deployment of a company of soldiers in Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan—considered to be one of the most dangerous zones in the country (and named “Restrepo” after a beloved medic killed in the line of duty). Unlike other documentaries, this movie doesn’t rely on expert talking heads that expound on the history or causes for battle. Rather, it takes you right (and we mean right) alongside the soldiers—the constant threat of attack (and then just constant attack), the loneliness and the trauma you can see on their young faces. As the filmmakers themselves say, “Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs can be a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.”
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.