Publication: The Stranger
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 59135
Journal code: STRR


From May 2007 to July 2008 Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington traveled back and forth between the United States and a remote military outpost in the dangerous Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, to capture the deadly, dusty, bewildering day-to-day of 15 soldiers fighting in what is now officially America's longest war. Junger, a writer, was on assignment for Vanity Fair; Hetherington, a photographer, was on assignment for ABC News; neither had ever made a film before. The outpost the soldiers set up and then live in and fight from is called Restrepo, named after a medic killed early on. "When I first got here, I thought: This is a shit hole. I'm going to die here," one of the soldiers says. The footage includes soldiers shooting people, being shot at, sweating, sleeping, being bored, arguing with Afghan village elders over a dead cow, burning their own feces, and (at one point) being killed. And in the course of the year and three months, you see evidence of personal transformations. (CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE)

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