Restrepo

A reader writes:

For your readers who were bothered by inaccuracies in The Hurt Locker, I'd recommend Restrepo, a documentary set in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, which just won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It's an entirely experiential, soldier's-eye view of war, set in one of the deadliest combat postings in the US military. I saw it recently, and was blown away.

Werner Herzog has a phrase about the "voodoo of location" in movies, and Restrepo demonstrates that in spades - the awareness that the bullets whizzing past the soldiers and filmmakers are real makes it far more heart-stopping than anything in The Hurt Locker.  More than any war movie I've seen since The Battle of Algiers, in fact. It's a directorial debut from author Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington, and deserves wider attention (I believe they are looking for distribution).

Another reader also recommends the film:

You really get to know the soldiers and you are right there with all the confusion, real courage, fear, the ugly and the tender through their whole deployment. The filmmakers deliberately never interviewed commanding officers, so you never get the sort of scripted high-level mission description you are used to seeing. I watched a National Geographic TV documentary on Afghanistan the night after watching Restrepo at Sundance, and I felt like I was watching a propaganda film by comparison.

The creators discuss their experience here.

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