No movie about war has provoked such a visceral impact as the opening moments of «Restrepo»: Sitting in the back of a Humvee, the cameraman is capturing the faces of the fighting men around him — when an IED goes off outside the vehicle.
What follows is noise and confusion, with people yelling and shooting their weapons as dust and dirt kick up in the camera’s lens. It’s the fog of war, in real time.
This is how Sean P. Means described Restrepo in The Salt Lake Tribune when it was first exhibited in Salt Lake City, early September 2010.
In 2011, when the documentary was nominated for an Academy Award, Ellen Flag Weist wrote in the same paper:
Photographer Tim Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger were briefly embedded in a very different kind of place: Hollywood. Attending the Oscars was perhaps as otherworldly as watching young soldiers sleeping in combat zones. «People who makes films generally aren’t in combat,» Junger says. «People who are in combat generally don’t make films.»
In January 2013, Restrepo’s coauthor Hetherington, British war photographer who died covering fighting in Libya in 2011, was celebrated at the Sundance Film Festival.
Under the title Remembering Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Hunger, one of his closest collegues and friends, put together a film for the Festival with some of Hetherington’s best pieces. Anderson Cooper got so impressed with the film that he decided to include on Jan 25th, 2013 in his CNN program a long interview with Hunger, whose film, «Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington», will be aired on HBO in April 2013.