DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE!
National Geographic Entertainment ACQUIRES AWARD-WINNING 'RESTREPO' FOR U.S. THEATRICAL DISTRIBUTION. (Excellent information at the link)
From May 2007 to July 2008, Hetherington and Junger dug in with a platoon of men from Battle Company, the Second Platoon of the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based at Restrepo. Named in honor of the platoon's medic, PFC Juan "Doc" Restrepo, who was killed in action, "Outpost Restrepo" had no running water, no Internet, no phone communication, often no electricity or heat, and it was attacked as many as five or six times a day.
Hetherington and Junger ate what the soldiers ate, slept where they slept, went on every patrol and by the end had been completely accepted into the platoon. Their cameras never left the Korengal Valley as they shot 150 hours of combat, frustration, routine, jokes, terror and bravery during daily life at the outpost until the men themselves were finally shipped out. The two journalists went on to conduct in-depth interviews with the platoon members back at their home base in Italy.
Second Platoon's 15-month tour of duty also serves as the basis for a new book by Junger called "War," which will be published in May 2010 by Twelve, a division of the Hachette Book Group
WINNER of Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival
WINNER of the Golden Rock for Best Documentary Feature Film at the 2010 Little Rock Film Festival
From the 2010 Sundance Film Festival - Accepting the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary for Restrepo, veteran journalists and first-time filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington honored both their immediate subjects – the soldiers they filmed in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley – and others who’ve fought overseas. "I’d like to dedicate the prize to the Restrepo generation," Hetherington said, "and to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who come back after serving this country and are invisible."
REVIEWS - Click on individual links for entire review
The New York Times - “Restrepo” avoids the conventions of documentary film: there is no back story, no drive-bys with experts for context, no underlying ideology or obvious message. The viewer is dropped into war, with a hard jolt, and resides, along with 15 soldiers from Second Platoon of Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in a remote and raw outpost called Restrepo, so named after one member of the platoon who is killed early in their rotation
Documentary.org - The end result of Junger and Hetherington's approach is a film about all wars--a film that transcends Outpost Restrepo as it puts you in the boots of these soldiers who spent every day, for 15 months, trying not to do anything to get one of their brothers killed as they counted the days remaining before they could go home.
Courtney Keating (16 years old) - Restrepo beautifully shows the unbreakable bond that these men form. They behave like a family, love each other like a family. And the bitter reality when a family member dies is not overlooked - remorse and pain is not avoided; emotions are not hidden. This is real, and this is what our soldiers go through. In addition to fighting and mourning with each other, the guys, well....had their moments. They made immature, inappropriate, and ridiculous jokes. They did unbelievably silly things, and it's hilarious. In what's considered the deadliest valley in Afghanistan, the spirit they had is uplifting. The film captures it all. From grief to joy, it captures it all.
Red Bull Rising - About 90 minutes later, even the combat veterans among us called the film "eye-opening."
Said one staff sergeant: "I wish I'd had something like that to show my soldiers before we left for Iraq." An Afghan-theater veteran observed how well the documentary depicted the mountainous terrain as an ever-present enemy. Another commented: "It's a good reminder that this uniform gets dirty ... and sometimes bloody."
The Kitchen Dispatch - From Surgeon's Wife to Army Surgeon's Wife - The movie ended, but I couldn't move. Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington had just taken the mantle from Ken Burns as documentary makers extraordinaire with Restrepo. This war documentary is a gripping chronicle of the lives of a platoon through some of the heaviest fighting in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan.
This is what Restrepo does so very well. Hetherington and Junger aren't afraid of the human condition through tough and dangerous times, through this the viewer witnesses the weaving of bonds between men who are very different from one another. This bond, strengthened by a commitment to survival is everlasting and sacred. It's something outsiders have a difficult time understanding, but Restrepo conveys it with love and honor.
Film Journal International - Shot in and around an Army outpost in the Korengal Valley, Restrepo offers an unprecedented look at soldiers on the front lines in Afghanistan. The battle footage is raw and terrifying in ways rarely seen in documentaries before. By avoiding overt political statements, the filmmakers aim for a broad theatrical audience rather than one that has already chosen sides. Restrepo, which will eventually be broadcast on cable, isn't for or against the war in Afghanistan. But it does make clear that waging this war is difficult, if not futile.
Stewart Nusbaumer for the Huffington Post - This documentary has everything -- fire fights, silence, drag-butt humping up and down mountains, intense camaraderie, crushing boredom, near paralyzing fear, horsing around in the all male environment, anguish, and of course death. All delivered to you right in your face.
If you are against the war in Afghanistan, this film will not make you for the war. If you are for the war, this movie will not turn you against the war. But what it will do is bring you closer to the reality of war in Afghanistan , and closer to those fighting that war.
OP Restrepo - Photo by Tim Hetherington
Information about "Sneak Peaks", general release dates and locations and "how to get Restrepo to your town" below the jump. (Click on Read More)