Korengal


Journalists and filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington were imbedded in an airborne platoon stationed in a grim valley in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2010, they released the riveting and critically acclaimed documentary, Restrepo, about the lives of the members of a combat team. Korengal is the second, and likely last, installment in the series. But, because of the nature of war, those who wage it and those who are sent to fight, the series could be extended indefinitely. Korengal includes footage Junger and Hetherington shot with the soldiers in their mountain encampment and in the villages in the valley from which the film takes its name, post-deployment studio interviews (the faces of each subject is framed in extreme close-up) and other material shot by the troops themselves.Though the sentiments shared by the men -- most of whom also appeared in Restrepo -- are now familiar, their comments about duty and fear are no less compelling. One of the most intriguing parts of the film is a long section toward the middle in which the members of the platoon talk candidly about the rush the get during firefights with the enemy. Admittedly, they say, a lot of the enjoyment comes from the relief skirmishes offer from the stretches of stultifying boredom. But, they add, they have lost members of the platoon to enemy shells and mortars during firefights. Director Junger has written dozens of articles about the bond the trials forge between men and strikes those chords about brotherhood and sacrifice in Korengal. Highly recommended. Strong language but no blood.

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