Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It is good the general public is now able to see just how remote and prehistoric most of Afghanistan is.  Restrepo is the name of a fallen soldier from the Korengal Valley in 2007 and it is also the name of the outpost the soldiers in Battle Company construct in the valley and name after him.  The Korengal Valley is two provinces north of where I was stationed and it makes my base, which was remote and sparse, seem like Vegas compared to OP Restrepo. 

A long deployment to Afghanistan is extremely monotonous punctuated by brief periods of action.  This is how the documentary is edited.  It briefly shows some of the soldiers a week pre-deployment, as newbies on the ground, and then follows their highlights (and lowlights) throughout the next 15 months.  Building the new outpost takes up most of their time as do the relentless patrols to the surrounding villages.  They conduct shuras (meetings) with the locals who they know are in contact with the Taliban but dare not tell them their locations for fear of death. 

It would be extremely difficult to convey the bleak day in, day out routine of a deployment that long and in around 90 minutes, Restrepo does not really pull that off.  There are a lot of firefights on film including one with a KIA and they effectively show just how confusing situations like that can be.  This documentary felt too brief for the heavy subject matter; however, I'm glad it was made at all.  The guys on the ground at the Company level and below rarely get any face time. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad I've seen it... but definitely good that I waited until you got home!