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Winner of the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and heralded as possibly the best war film ever made, Restrepo focuses on the deployment of a US platoon in Afghanistan's hostile Korengal Valley . Over the course of 15 months, the two filmmakers Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger (author of 'The Perfect Storm') lived with the unit shadowing their every move, resulting in extraordinary footage. From spectacular combat and ambush scenes to difficult discussions with local village elders, civilian and military deaths, never before has such access been granted. Restrepo is as close as it gets to seeing what life as a soldier is really like.
The confirmed extras for the disc is below:
- Additional Soldier Interviews
- Deleted Scenes
- Where Are They Now Featurette
Following the fortunes of an American platoon during their 2007 rotation in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, Restrepo avoids any outright comment on America's involvement in the Middle East to capture the instinctive affection between young soldiers in the firing line of an ambiguous conflict. The cameras follow this inexperienced unit as they establish an outpost in the mountains from which to confer a shaky stability on the surrounding tribal villages. The importance of this difficult mission is never fully articulated by the soldiers--and in the absence of a clear military goal their desire to carry out their orders becomes attached to the desire to honour a fallen comrade: PFC Juan Sebastián 'Doc' Restrepo, a liked and boisterous private after whom both the film and the outpost are named. Daily life in the outpost is punctuated by frightening and inconclusive firefights that climax in a stalemate-busting final assault with some inevitably tragic consequences. These violent episodes are so close to the camera that you marvel at the bravery of the two journalists behind Restrepo: Sebastian Junger (writer of The Perfect Storm) and photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who was killed in 2011 documenting civil conflict in Libya. Their unseen courage adds another dynamic to this arresting film. --Leo Batchelor
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Top Customer Reviews
The documentary follows the daily lives of young soldiers from the second platoon, `B' Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, airborne of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, as they face a determined Taliban enemy in the Korangal Valley in the North Eastern part of Afghanistan. Junger himself says the film is no political or moral analysis, the camera simply follows the experiences of soldiers in daily front line contact with the enemy. This it achieves very successfully, and there are times when you want to duck beneath the parapet as the bullets fly. As an experiential viewer I was almost able to understand the fear that many soldiers must have regarding a bullet with their name on it. Tragically there was one for the platoon medic PFC Juan Restrepo, who was killed in early bitter fighting. Much of the action takes place at the besieged advanced outpost named after him, which had the feeling of a Fort Apache, Fort Zindernuff, being under constant threat of attack. It almost feels at times as if you are in an awful reality game, where your life is really at stake.Read more ›
That said, I wouldnt want to do it,so respect to them, and those injured and killed. There were there, doing the business, and I'm sat at home.
Absolutely fantastic film, giving an insight into the daily horrors and impossibility of the war in Afghanistan.
Every interview with the individual soldiers involved is extremly moving. Listening to them describe the horrors and fear of battle - then to actually SEE the battle on screen, as the film makers are right there, is incredible and at times very emotional ( the scene where one of the sergeants is killed is very painful to watch).
There are also many light moments - watching hardened warriors dancing to 'Touch Me' is hilarious, the conversation over the radio between 2 soldiers about one of them living on a ranch is surreal and many of the moments during firefights, close up of a hot shell falling into one of the guys soft shoe, are very funny!
Totally unmissable, hope there are extras on the DVD!
Restrepo is a truly brilliant documentary. The first thing to say about it is that it was made in co-operation with National Geographic, and was therefore politically constrained from the start. That's why there is no overt or explicit critique of US policy in the film, and little context-setting. Instead, the film makers rather cunningly went for realism, which becomes it's own critique. One scene after another makes you realise the total futility of trying to control and dominate a place like the Korengal Valley militarily. This documentary is really stunning, and could not get more real. The opening sequence, where the vehicle the cameraman is driving in hits an IED, is as shocking as anything else, perhaps the most shocking sequence. But there's plenty more action--the American soldiers come under fire almost every day, and when things are quiet they go out looking for a fight. The reviewer SCM rightly comments on the naivete of the American captain who attempts, but fails, to win the hearts and minds of the locals, who are after all the Taliban, or Taliban supporters. The brilliance of this documentary lay in the de-briefing interviews. In one of these interviews a soldier reflects on the bungled attempt to curry favour with the locals, "...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a tour de force work in documentary making. Embedded with the Americans in Afghanistan, you are in the thick of it. No heroics just pure truth. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Vivek K. Sarawgi
I'm not sure why I should enjoy soldiers getting shot at in extremely demanding situations.
I certainly don't wish any soldier anywhere harm. Read more
Amazing piece of documentary filmaking. I really recommend it.Published 10 months ago by Sunny Boshoff
cracking stuff, well worth watching, enjoyed it very much.Published 12 months ago by Rick the Framer
Very good and telling documentary. As a former serviceman I really appreciated it.Published 13 months ago by P. Tennant