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8 Jul, 2010 00:08

“Restrepo” – a look into the lives of Americans fighting in the Korengal Valley

The Korengal Valley is one of the most remote and dangerous places in Afghanistan. It is also home to a 15-man outpost called Restrepo.

Some soldiers have called the Korengal Valley the deadliest place on earth. The Restrepo outpost is named after a medic that was killed in action in the area.

Tim Hatherington, director of the documentary film “Restrepo,” spent five months on the ground with the American soldiers at the outpost.

The access and intimacy of the film is pretty remarkable,” said Hatherington.

Hatherington has covered war and conflict for years, but this is the most time he has spent with any one particular group of soldiers.

What we wanted to do with the film was bring home the reality of what these guys do to an American audience and to a wider audience. I think the American public is in some ways disconnected from some of the realities of things happening out there. We just made the most visceral and immediate war for them we could. We felt you don’t really see that in network news,” said Hatherington.

He argued that the American public is eager to learn more about what is going on in Afghanistan, but they are not getting enough information from the news. With the film they get a longer, bigger picture.

There are 50 million Americans who are connected to people in the military,” said Hatherington.

Hatherington put his own money into the film to bring the story of the soldiers in the Korengal Valley to the public. He wants the film to show what these American soldiers go though, to put all politics aside and use the film as a starting point to discuss the war.

Hatherington said he did not focus on the wider sense of the war and that the Korengal Valley is no more indicative of the whole war in Afghanistan then Detroit is indicative of all America. For this reason, he said he cannot say for sure what will happen in the future for the war in Afghanistan.