This documentary about life on the battle field in Afghanistan gets high praise from soldiers as being "exactly what it is like." The film begins with cocky young American rookies fresh off the plane getting shelled by insurgents before they reach their first destination. It may look like a first-person shooter video game, but the raw footage makes you quickly realize that this battle is far more pitiful than any game could be. It's a game no one wants to play. When the besieged soldiers finally fight, their adrenaline peaks, but it peters out by the end of this story as they confront the head-banging futility of this war. (Later the outpost they so valiantly conquered is abandoned.) We are given faces to this, the longest war of the US. We get to know the comrades one by one, and the film is named after one beloved guy who is killed. The main achievement of this film (and the parallel book by the author/director) is to convey that what keeps the guys going, the reason they fight, is not any large idea, but to simply not let their comrades down. This movie is a real life Band of Brothers.
(Filming this was life threatening. The co-director was later killed in action while photographing the war in Libya.)
Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington
2010, 93 minutes
Read more about the film at Wikipedia
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon