The Korengal Valley is one of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan, so dangerous, in fact, that it’s known amongst soldiers as “the deadliest place on Earth.” It’s also the setting of RESTREPO, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary on the Second US Platoon that was stationed there for 14-months between May…
Still from RESTREPO.
How’s this for an opening salvo? RESTREPO, the first documentary to screen at Sundance 2010, kicks off with a grunt’s-eye view of being caught in a roadside-bomb explosion, and only gets more intense from there. In 2007 and 2008, journalist Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington made 10 trips to Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a six-mile corridor near the Pakistan border, at the time the focal point of the fighting between U.S. forces and the Taliban. A raw, often harrowing piece of frontline reportage, the film uses post-facto interviews with the soldiers to orient the viewers, but mostly, it opts for disorientation — for the surreal ground-level experience of combat, alternating between restless downtime and confusing firefights.