A year with the Second Platoon, Battle Company in one of eastern Afghanistan's most dangerous outposts is vividly chronicled in this lauded piece of cinema verite from reporters Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger. Being cut off from utililities civilians couldn't handle during weather extremes is part of the unimaginable viewpoint.
Restrepo makes the experience of U.S. soldiers at a remote Korengal Valley hard-hitting and urgent, as the filmmakers (with their capable crew) whittled down what they encountered into something substantial without debate or politics. And, not something languishing with interviewees such as envoys, military brass or family members.
Those who've read Junger's current nonfiction hit "War" are really in for something insightful and penetrating (not for the faint of heart). What's done so well is to make the bonding, down time, frenetic firefights and brutal physicality come alive and often captivating with a rangy realism similar to last year's Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker.
Under the employ of ABC and Vanity Fair, the directors put their lives on the line through a series of trips by helicopter and foot to an area with just ammunition and sandbags. Their commitment to this harrowing 15-man outpost is evident during the fighting, living and dying of ongoing enemy advances. Even in a relatively short running time, this truthful handling of modern warfare which takes its name from a fellow fallen medic pulls no punches and never loses its focus.