RESTREPO: ONE PLA­TOON, ONE YEAR, ONE VAL­LEY

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images -

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

Sanchez)

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

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