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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Restrepo is a 2010 documentary film directed by American journalist Sebastian Junger and British photojournalist Tim Hetherington. The film explores the year that Junger and Hetherington spent in Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair, embedded with the Second Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (airborne) of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in the Korengal valley. The 2nd Platoon is depicted defending an outpost (OP) named OP Restrepo, for PFC Juan Sebastián Restrepo, a Colombian-born naturalized U.S. citizen platoon medic who was killed earlier in the campaign.
film follows the deployment of the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company on a 15 month deployment in the Korengal Valley of northeast Afghanistan. It chronicles the lives of the men from their deployment to the time of their return back home. The Korengal Valley was at the time regarded as "the deadliest place on Earth" (as stated in the documentary itself, trailers, and television commercials on the National Geographic Channel). The goal of the deployment is to clear the Korengal Valley of insurgency and continue to gain the trust of the local populace. They begin their deployment at OP Korengal, and early in the campaign PFC Restrepo is killed, as well as another team member. The film portrays the construction of an advanced outpost, OP Restrepo, as well as the challenges and intermittent firefights they faced while they managed to build the outpost from nothing in only one night. In the latter portion of the film, the extremely dangerous mission Operation Rock Avalanche is shown along with some of its tragic consequences, such as dead civilians and soldiers, as well as the emotional distress that the soldiers are left with in its aftermath.
film received the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It received a certified fresh rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert awarded Restrepo four out of four stars.. Additionaly, numerous critics and publications included it in their annual top film selections.

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