As part of Buzzsaw’s militarization week they showed the movie Restrepo. It is a documentary of the U.S. occupation in the Korengal Valley, a highly disputed area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, filmed by embedded journalists Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington. About 70 percent of all bombs dropped during the Afghanistan war, up till 2007, were dropped in this valley.
The movie is a powerful work of war journalism that captures the life of a soldier. It shows the cultural divide and the struggle to ally with the village elders.
It was a different perspective of war not seen in mainstream media. It shows the daily struggles of the American soldiers, their fears, the importance of brotherhood, and killing the enemy.
The film addresses issues beyond the points made in mainstream media. From watching the news I remember hearing the many successes of the soldiers and the benefits of Americans being in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film shows the 15-month deployment of the Second Platoon. In that time their greatest success was establishing an Outpost. Then in 2010 we withdrew from the area. The reality of war, which is portrayed in the film, is how much time it takes to make ground and develop an area. Its something that wasn’t covered enough when deciding to go to war.
Junger also wrote the book War, which is a companion to the film.