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'Restrepo,' Tim Hetherington Movie, Chronicled The Violence Of Afghan War (VIDEO)

Journalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, most noted for the gripping documentary of the Afghan war, 'Restrepo,' was killed in Libya today, along with Getty photographer Chris Hondros.

The documentary, which Hetherington co-directed with Sebastian Junger, followed the Second Platoon in the Korengal Valley, one of the deadliest valleys in Afghanistan, for a year (2007), and was critically acclaimed by the likes of the Sundance Film Festival. Hetherington died in the Libyan city of Misrata while covering the front lines.

The documentary also chronicles one of the most dangerous missions in Afghanistan, Operation Rock Avalanche, and the numerous civillian and military casualties that resulted, as well as the emotionally devastating effects of the battle.

The film won numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Restrepo also garnered a 2011 Academy Award nomination for best documentary.

WATCH (The Restrepo Trailer):

The Restrepo Review (From The AP):

The war on terror has been a tricky subject for dramatic filmmakers, with "The Hurt Locker" the one exceptional fictional film that managed to find an audience.

The great films about combat in Iraq and Afghanistan mostly have been documentaries, and "Restrepo" continues that track record with an intimate portrait of a platoon's tour of duty that's disturbing, rattling and heartbreaking in its immediacy.

"Restrepo" directors Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger dug in with a U.S. Army platoon of the 173rd Airborne Brigade during much of its 15-month deployment in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, which the filmmakers describe as one of the most dangerous military postings.

Hetherington, a veteran war photographer, and journalist Junger, whose books include best-seller "The Perfect Storm," wisely follow "The Hurt Locker" formula and leave politics aside, taking no stance on the war other than to show the daily lives of the people fighting it.

"Restrepo" unfolds with an objective yet impassioned voice, the soldiers' actions, words, loyalty, even their horseplay combining for an unforgettable chronicle of fraternity under fire.

And the men are constantly under fire - sometimes as often as three or four times a day. Hetherington and Junger's cameras reveal the assaults in frightening detail as the platoon fires back to repel attacks with matter-of-fact resolution.

One scene, almost unbearable to watch, captures the terrible outpouring of emotion after a comrade is killed. Such agonizing images bring home the war in a way no news report or fictionalized drama ever could.

Review: 'Restrepo' presents agonizing war closeup

DAVID GERMAIN | June 22, 2010 06:21 PM EST |

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The war on terror has been a tricky subject for dramatic filmmakers, with "The Hurt Locker" the one exceptional fictional film that managed to find an audience.

The great films about combat in Iraq and Afghanistan mostly have been documentaries, and "Restrepo" continues that track record with an intimate portrait of a platoon's tour of duty that's disturbing, rattling and heartbreaking in its immediacy.

"Restrepo" directors Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger dug in with a U.S. Army platoon of the 173rd Airborne Brigade during much of its 15-month deployment in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, which the filmmakers describe as one of the most dangerous military postings.

Hetherington, a veteran war photographer, and journalist Junger, whose books include best-seller "The Perfect Storm," wisely follow "The Hurt Locker" formula and leave politics aside, taking no stance on the war other than to show the daily lives of the people fighting it.

"Restrepo" unfolds with an objective yet impassioned voice, the soldiers' actions, words, loyalty, even their horseplay combining for an unforgettable chronicle of fraternity under fire.

And the men are constantly under fire - sometimes as often as three or four times a day. Hetherington and Junger's cameras reveal the assaults in frightening detail as the platoon fires back to repel attacks with matter-of-fact resolution.

One scene, almost unbearable to watch, captures the terrible outpouring of emotion after a comrade is killed. Such agonizing images bring home the war in a way no news report or fictionalized drama ever could.

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There are moments that seem trivially absurd on the surface, such as the platoon's negotiations with local Afghan residents over reparations for a cow killed after becoming entangled in an outpost fence.

The absurdity quickly fades as Afghan faces register dissatisfaction at the compensation offered and distrust of the American soldiers trying to broker the deal.

If such small matters can be cause for tension and discord, imagine the awful task of U.S. officers trying to explain to Afghan families how American artillery wound up killing and wounding innocent villagers. "Restrepo" presents such encounters as yet another example of the terrible tightrope American troops must walk as they try to fight the Taliban without turning more of the locals against the United States.

The grim narrative is intensified by the backdrop of the stark mountain terrain surrounding them. Hetherington and Junger's images are both bleakly beautiful and claustrophobic, demonstrating the awesome yet narrow spaces in which the soldiers lived more than a year of their lives.

"Restrepo" deservedly won the top documentary prize at January's Sundance Film Festival. The film takes its title from the name of the outpost where the platoon spends most of its tour, which in turn was named after PFC Juan Restrepo, a medic killed in action early in the deployment.

In conversations during the deployment and interviews after returning to their base in Italy, platoon members plaintively recall their fallen comrades and ponder if any good came out of their sacrifice. None have any answers, but their recollections reveal one certainty: Whatever nations might fight for, these men are fighting for one another.

"Restrepo," a National Geographic release, is rated R for language throughout including some descriptions of violence. Running time: 94 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.