In 2008 Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) and Tim Hetherington dug in with the men of Second Platoon for a year. Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a stronghold of al Qaeda and the Taliban, has proven to be one of the U.S. Army’s deadliest challenges. It is here that the platoon lost their comrade, PFC Juan Restrepo, and erected an outpost in his honor. Up close and personal, Junger and Hetherington gain extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of backbreaking labor and deadly firefights that are a way of life at Outpost Restrepo.
Ever wonder what it’s really like to be in the trenches of war? Look no further. Restrepo may be one of the most experiential and visceral war films you’ll ever see. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers reveal the humor and camaraderie of men who come under daily fire, never knowing which of them won’t make it home.
So I went on a date with myself last Friday night to go see Restrepo.
I can’t claim to be the biggest war/military nut but I do read a lot, watch a lot, and pay attention to what is going on when it comes to this stuff. None of it, none of it, prepared me for what this documentary shows.
Harrowing, sad, insightful, funny, riveting, depressing, speechless, anxious, moving, angry, epic… All words as I try and capture or describe both the movie, the experience and my reaction to it.
Part of me wants to reference certain points or scenes but I’m hoping that people go check this out and experience it on their own.