Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's 'Restrepo' Premieres Nov. 29 on National Geographic Channel

November 22nd, 2010

Monstersandcritics.com
By April MacIntyre Nov 22, 2010, 7:17 GMT

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National Geographic Channel will be hosting the television premiere of Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s acclaimed film, Restrepo, on Monday, November 29 at 9pm ET/PT.

You might have heard about Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism and valor during Combat Operation Rock Avalanche in Afghanistan.

This makes SSG Giunta the first living person to receive the MOH since the Vietnam War.

While on assignment with Sebastian (who wrote a book – “War” – about SSG Giunta and his platoon), co-director Tim was with a platoon near SSG Giunta’s. Tim and Sebastian recently spoke with SSG Giunta and here is an exclusive, 14-minute video of his story:

Restrepo, airing Monday, November 29 at 9pm ET/PT, chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, in a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military.

This is an entirely experiential film: The cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 94-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.

The directors tell National Geographic Channel that the war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion.

“Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: 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 at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs can be a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.” said Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger.

Tim Hetherington serves as Producer, Director and Camera Operator for “Restrepo,” and is in addition an acclaimed photographer and filmmaker who has reported on conflict for more than 10 years.

He was the only photographer to live behind rebel lines during the recent Liberian civil war – work that culminated in the film Liberia: An Uncivil War and the book “Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold” (Umbrage, 2009). More information on Hetherington can be found at www.timhetherington.com.

New York-based writer and journalist Sebastian Junger also serves as Producer, Director and Camera Operator, and is the best-selling author of “The Perfect Storm,” “Fire” and “A Death in Belmont.”

He first reported from Afghanistan in 1996 and, four years later, was one of the last Westerners to accompany legendary guerrilla fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud (while reporting for National Geographic) during his war against the Taliban. Junger’s latest best-selling book, “War,” is about his time in the Korengal Valley with Second Platoon. (Twelve,www.twelvebooks.com.)