As you may have heard, the filmmaker behind the Oscar-nominated documentary has died. The movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and will be shown on National Geographic Channel on Monday.
The official word: Following yesterday’s tragic news that photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington died while covering the ongoing combat in Libya, the National Geographic Channel has announced an encore of his award-winning documentary, Restrepo, expanded for television and airing Monday, April 25, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The broadcast will include a special tribute to Hetherington. The powerful documentary was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature this year and was also a Grand Prize Jury Winner at the Sundance Film Festival.
Restrepo chronicles the deployment of U.S. troops in the Korengal Valley, one of the most dangerous outposts in Afghanistan. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. Starting in June 2007, Hetherington, along with co-producer and co-director Sebastian Junger, made 10 trips to the Korengal. They did everything the soldiers did except pull guard duty and shoot back during firefights. They slept alongside the soldiers, ate with them, survived the boredom and the heat and the cold and the flies with them, went on patrol with them and eventually came to be considered virtually part of the platoon. By the end of the deployment, they had shot a total of 150 hours of combat, boredom, humor, terror and daily life at the outpost.
Restrepo is an entirely experiential film: The cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. It is the story. in their own words, of a group of men who came to be considered the “tip of the spear” for America’s efforts in that area. The film’s only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop.