Thursday, July 8, 2010

Restrepo (2010)

Director(s): Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger. 93 min. Rated R. Documentary.

A flurry of great Iraq/Afghan war movies have started, but Restrepo is not necessarily one deserving the incredibly high accolades. Surely, a documentary chronicling life in Afghanistan's Korangal Valley is a noble effort, but watching the imagery, I didn't perceive this as the "deadliest place in the world", as the movie claims (conceptual profoundness doesn't equal cinematic excellence). The footage and interviews are more concerned with the aftershocks of violence in the region, rather than the violence itself. Worthy of note how alien the Afghani locals look to the American troops, as though we're watching conversations between two different species.

(PS: Make sure you listen to NPR's interview with director Tim Hetherington, where he breaks down midway through the interview while reminiscing his experiences.)

Mo says:


  1. I got so interested again in Documentary genre after it’s been started for me actually by ‘Grizzly man”. All things are natural and easy to believe because of reality. My heart was compressed when I imagine in the real , some young soldiers might play Guitar and singing their favorite songs and barbeque or kidding with each other when they are not sure what is happening for them in next minute.
    And another notable point : there was no sign of Taliban …real enemy was covered and using such great idea by filmmaker , made them more terrified and horrible .
    I liked the movie’s title and its origin.
    Thanks a lot for the link. Trivia in IMDB was empty and I was looking for knowing behind the scene . The note was quite interesting in this site but listening to the story& interviw was another experience. The interview and its emotional load (at that moment you mentioned ,) is really hard to describe.

  2. The most notable scene of the movie that is being talked about repeatedly, is where one of the commanders dies from a mortar attack, and a soldier suddenly starts sobbing uncontrollably - but then a few moments later, he's fine and back in his position.

    This scene very well shows the incredible stress the soldiers are under, where they suddenly lose control under pressure, have an emotional explosion and show their true self, and then automatically go back into the state they were before.