In a remote mountainous valley in Afghanistan, a platoon of U.S. soldiers establishes an oupost. The Korangal Valley had a repuatation for being one of the most dangerous places in an already dangerous country, overrun with Taliban insurgents who were not friendly to either the Americans or anyone from the central government in Kabul. 

"Restrepo" tracks the year a platoon spends defending its remote redoubt in a hostile land. Attacks are near daily, and everything from resupply to leaving and entering the outpost is harrowing. Outpost Restrepo, named after Pfc. Juan Sebastián Restrepo who is killed earlier in the campaign, is a rough and easy target for Taliban looking to expel coalition forces from the wild valley. The outpost comes under constant attack: motars, sniper and machine gun fire. As the attacks continue, the film documents the toll it takes on the unit and its frustrations in pacifying the area, through documentary footage and interviews. 

The film does a good job of bringing the immediacy of combat onto the screen, wrapped up in the fog of war and the travails and frustrations of a nearly impossible mission. Not surprising given it's a documentary, it's about as real as war can be without being there. The film also does a good job of leaving political considerations at the door, although it's hard not thinking of the futility and failure of 14 years of war in Afghanistan while watching the movie. The soldiers in the movie show their bravery and connsumate professionalism and it's rawness is a needed departure from most warzone reporting or war movies, both fictional and not.

"Restrepo" (2010) Directed by Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger. Starring the soldiers of Battle Company 2nd of the 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Rated R, 93 minutes.

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