Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
‘This is reality’
Restrepo, 2010, directed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, is a full-length documentary that aims to capture the experience of combat through the eyes of a platoon deployed in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, considered one of the most dangerous postings in the US military. Their intention was to capture the experience of combat through the soldiers’ own eyes: ‘We did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying … in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs are a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.’
The film received the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Top: Specialist Misha Pemble-Belkin (left) and fellow soldiers from Battle Company 173rd US Airborne during a firefight at Outpost Restrepo in 2008. Film still from Restrepo. Photograph: Tim Hetherington.
First published in Eye no. 77 vol. 20.
Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can also browse visual samples of recent issues at Eye before You Buy.