True Films

Restrepo


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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.)

— KK

Reader Recommendations:

“Restrepo isn’t about politics or who is right or wrong concerning the issues that surround the war(s). It is a chronicle of survival, of men facing a harsh reality and learning to adapt to it. My own experiences in combat are paralleled very closely by the images the filmmakers have captured, it is the most honest portrayal of the military I have ever seen.” — Tim Mergen

“It is both amazing and sobering.” — Amy Robertson

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Restrepo
Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington
2010, 93 minutes
$4, Amazon Instant Video rental

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted May 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | comments
in category Investigative



Comments
  • Thanks for post.

  •  This is one of the most powerful documentaries I have seen on the subject of war. It is hard to watch, but worth it in terms of developing a new understanding of what is going on in places like Afghanistan. Highly recommended. 

    — oliver

    Note: It can currently be streamed at Netflix. No need to wait for the mailman!