RESTREPO: ONE PLATOON, ONE YEAR, ONE VALLEY
Filmed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, Restrepo is a war documentary that scraps all the conventions of the genre — commanding-officer interviews, geopolitical debates, etc. — to launch the viewer between sandbags and spent shells into a remote military outpost of the Afghan war. The 15-man troop of the 173rd Airborne Brigade that occupied the post in the Korengal Valley from 2007 to 2008 saw some of the deadliest fighting to date. Dispensing with political accounts, this film reveals soldiers as real human beings, not symbols deployed by the left or right. Hetherington and Daniel Kearney, one of the soldiers, take part in a conversation after the screening. 7 p.m. Friday, July 30, only. Not rated. 94 minutes.
Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe. (Casey
the war in Afghanistan surpassed Vietnam — along with World War II and the Civil War — as the longest-running war in U.S. history. Yet unlike those earlier wars, the stories of the soldiers who fight in the mountains of Central Asia remain largely unknown to most Americans, despite Afghanistan being a stronghold of the Taliban and the possible hiding place of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks that ushered in the “war on terror.” That might change with the release of
a film that scraps all the conventions of the genre — commanding-officer interviews, geopolitical debates, etc. — to launch the viewer between sandbags and spent shells into a remote military outpost called “Restrepo,” named in honor of Pfc. Juan Restrepo, a charismatic medic who was killed early during his deployment there. The 15-man troop of the 173rd Airborne Brigade that occupied the post in the Korengal Valley from 2007 to 2008 saw some of the deadliest fighting in the nine-year war.
To make the film, British photographer Tim Hetherington and American writer Sebastian Junger, author of hunkered down in the remote outpost, where they lived without heat or phone service, lugging 50-pound cameras over ridges and mountainsides in the middle of intense combat. “For 90 minutes, we wanted to take the viewer into the valley,” Hetherington said in an interview with Hetherington, along with Capt. Daniel Kearney, who led the soldiers of the 2nd Platoon,
Filmmakers Sebastian Junger, left, and Tim Hetherington at Outpost Restrepo in 2007; top, Sgt. Tanner Stichter collecting fingerprints from an Afghan villager; photos by Hetherington from his forthcoming book, Infidel