Posts Tagged ‘US soldiers’
Last weekend, I was left alone with my 8 month old daughter so did I pass the time? By watching, a loud, violent documentary of the Afghan war, that’s how! I enjoyed and my daughter tolerated ‘Restrepo’, the story of U.S. Army platoon of the 173rd Airborne Brigade during much of its 15-month deployment in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The documentary was filmed and directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, who followed the small army battalion into Korengal Valley, which they called the most dangerous place in Afghanistan for American soldiers.
Junger and Hetherington do an excellent job letting the soldiers tell their story with little forced story lines or political undertones. ‘Restrepo’, which comes from the name of one of the platoon’s fallen soldiers, brings its audience right into the battlefield with the American soldiers as they try to beat back Taliban insurgents and stay alive in their comprised outpost, which was also called Restrepo. The sacrifices and bravery of the US soldiers is palpably felt in the film as is the immense challenge they and all American/NATO forces face in this nearly decade long conflict. Though the film should make one feel in awe of the American military’s strengths and the capabilities of our soldiers, it also vividly portrays a foreign force attempting to tame an alien land invested with opposition forces. Watching the film, one can’t help but feel that even with all the US fire power and bravery, our country is facing an uphill battle against the Taliban insurgency. After all, the platoon featured couldn’t wait to finish their tour in the Korengal and get home (who wouldn’t?), yet the insurgents, for the most part were home…
I don’t want to get to inundated in judging an entire war effort by one film about one group of soldiers, though. You can definitely read too much into such small sample sizes. Nevertheless, ‘Restrepo’ is a worthwhile documentary, that if anything, provides a glimpse into the sacrifices being made by a few for the rest of us.
Here is a clip of the platoon taking on enemy fire and returning it in kind: