Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Film Review: RESTREPO (2010)

Directors: Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger
Running time: 108 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): N/A

USA release date: 27th June 2010

Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 30th November 2010.


I have heard many good reports about this documentary recently and so I was surprised when it turned up on TV only a few months after its release. Of course it was immediately put into the planner and subsequently recorded for a viewing. It’s well worth a watch if you can catch it, really compelling and pretty scary in places too! I guess I’d better tell you what it’s about first (summary haters please wait back at ‘The Kop’ for the duration of the next paragraph).

This film tells the story of the Second Platoon and their fifteen month deployment in one of Afghanistan’s most strategically crucial valleys, Korangal. Their main base is called ‘The Kop’, but they need an outpost which they build and name ‘Restrepo’ after a soldier, Doc Restrepo, who was killed early in the film. The main focus of the film is on the soldiers and their day-to-day battle against the Taliban. But it also gives us an insight into the lives of the soldiers and what motivates them to do what they do.

I really enjoyed this film, it has many highs and lows, but over all it gives an fascinating insight into the American operations in Afghanistan. If I have one criticism, it’s that it did tend to get a little repetitive. But I can forgive that, it’s an outstanding documentary, at times you feel like you’re another member of the platoon fighting alongside them. Hats off to those guys and also to the filmmakers. Highly recommended.

My score: 8.2/10

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