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Combat Fog: “Restrepo”

Combat Fog: "Restrepo"

As the U.S. nears the decade mark in the wars currently being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan, there have been a mounting number of fiction films and documentaries made about the two conflicts. While Hollywood has always been invested in catching war from the front lines, the cinematic output born of this particular moment has far exceeded that of any previous combat situation. Restrepo, a documentary by embedded journalists Sebastian Junger (author of The Perfect Storm) and Tim Hetherington (a cinematographer on The Devil Came on Horseback), is the latest addition to this body of work, and judging by its Sundance reception, where it won the grand jury prize for best documentary, it may become one of the most celebrated as well. The film focuses on “one platoon, one year, one valley,” and in particular it concerns a 15-man unit from the Second Platoon of Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade that is deployed in Afghanistan’s dreaded Korengal Valley, dubbed the “Valley of Death” by the New York Times. There, over the course of 15 months in 2007 and 2008, they build Outpost Restrepo, named for a fallen comrade. Read Genevieve Yue’s review of Restrepo.

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