Pin It


Usually, we only get the horrors of war after they happen — Restrepo gets up close and personal.

click to enlarge Restrepo
  • Restrepo

Restrepo is a documentary following the experience of one U.S. military platoon stationed for one year in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan – the most dangerous and deadly place for a soldier to be during the war.

The documentary consists of footage shot by two journalists, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, who accompanied the platoon for the duration of their stay, and one-on-one interviews conducted after their return home. Viewers are given little idea what is happening in the outside world at the time — the focus is solely upon the experience of the soldiers.

The story picks up as the men are preparing to construct a 15-man outpost in a strategically important part of the valley. after its completion, they decide to dub it “Restrepo,” after a beloved medic who had been killed in action.

Their lives are divided between frenzy and tedium — running for their weapons to stave off Taliban ambushes one moment, then sitting around in boredom the next. The filmmakers don’t hold back from presenting uncomfortable scenes, like the soldiers wading through the aftermath of their attack, walking past a dead girl and many more injured children held in the arms of their parents.

The footage is undoubtedly powerful. But it is presented with little context that would be meaningful for civilians. Any explanation of what is going on is expressed in military jargon and rooted in the mindset of the soldier, who is in so deep that his thoughts are impossible for the layman to understand.

But despite the film’s confounding nature, it still presents us with a viewpoint we never see truthfully on the nightly news or in Hollywood movies. we often only see the aftermath — men and women who come back home changed. Restrepo offers a glimpse of the catalyst of that transformation, casting light on the part of war we often neglect – the part with people. (Rated R)

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Speaking of Iraq

Latest in Film

  • From Book to Bore
  • From Book to Bore

    Inferno is a messy, nonsensical continuation of the Robert Langdon series
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Double Trouble
  • Double Trouble

    Keeping Up with the Joneses steals an idea and does little with it
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • The Bad, the Worse and the Puppy
  • The Bad, the Worse and the Puppy

    In a Valley of Violence is a funny, thoughtful Western semi-send-up
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu

All of today's events | Staff Picks


More by Tiffany Harms

Most Commented On

  • The Kids Aren't Alright

    Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children can't quite strike the balance between whimsy and darkness
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film


indigo girls


spokane symphony

Readers also liked…

  • Where Are the Women?
  • Where Are the Women?

    A critic's year-long deep dive into the way movies portray half of humanity
    • May 12, 2016
  • Road Goes On Forever
  • Road Goes On Forever

    Widespread Panic's never-ending tour stops in Spokane for the first time since 1999
    • Mar 11, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation