Restrepo: war in Afghanistan “from a soldier’s perspective”

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, The National Geographic Channel debuts Restrepo, a documentary that follows one platoon in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, referred to by one soldier as the most dangerous place on earth. It was produced by photographer Tim Hetherington and journalist Sebastian Junger, who chronicled their experience there in a best-selling book, War. (The film will be released on DVD next Tuesday.)

During a press conference for TV critics in August, Hetherington described it as an “apolitical film” that’s “from the solders’ point of view,” and that’s evident in the footage below, during which it’s described as being filmed “from a soldier’s perspective.”

Perhaps the best explanation came from major Dan Kearney, who told critics that the film answers family members’ questions about soldiers’ experiences that they could otherwise not describe or explain. “One of the things that this film was able to strike a chord with was many of the wives and many of the loved ones, they didn’t have to ask any of those questions, they didn’t have to give you that kind of look like, ‘Hey, why are you doing that’ or ‘Why are you acting like that’ and try to wonder why. They were able to watch this and ‘I love you for who you are. I don’t need to ask any more questions.’ And that’s all there is,” he said.

Here’s the film’s trailer:

And here are interviews with the filmmakers and additional clips of the film:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.