Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: Oscar-Nominated Doc "Restrepo" is a Real War Story

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 22 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Restrepo (2010)
Running time: 93 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes)
MPAA – R for language throughout including some descriptions of violence
DIRECTORS: Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
CINEMATOGRAPHERS/PRODUCERS: Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
EDITOR: Michael Levine
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Dan Kearney, LaMonta Caldwell, Sterling Jones, Kevin Rice, Juan “Doc” Restrepo, and the Men of Battle Company 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

Restrepo is an Oscar-nominated documentary from Sebastian Junger, the author of The Perfect Storm, and photographer Tim Hetherington. Hetherington and Junger spent a year embedded with the Second Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan during their 15-month deployment.

Most of that time, they were hunkered down in the Korengal Valley in an outpost (OP) named OP Restrepo, which the soldiers named after their fallen comrade, Juan “Doc” Restrepo, a platoon medic killed earlier in the deployment. The filmmakers document the platoon’s brotherhood, hard work, fear, boredom, and joy.

Riveting, compelling, and harrowing, and even poignant, scary, and gut-wrenching in places, Restrepo is a pure documentary. By that, I mean the filmmakers, Hetherington and Junger, document their subjects without commentary and with only the camera as an indication that they are even present. Any opinions and feelings the viewer has are mostly the result of their on interpretations of what they see. They recorded; you decide.

Still, as good as this film is, Restrepo feels like it is missing something, and I still can’t figure out what it is I think is missing. Still, every American should watch at least a quarter of the film. That’s a little over 23 minutes. You can spare the time.

8 of 10

2011 Academy Awards: 1 nomination: “Best Documentary, Features” (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger)


No comments:

Post a Comment