For truck drivers who may be looking for less dramatized film fare on this Memorial Day holiday, the recent ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have provided journalists and film makers plenty of opportunity to show how life goes on there. One of the more notable documentaries surrounding the Afghan conflict in the last few years is a film known as “Restrepo.”
Streaming War Documentary: Restrepo
This streaming war documentary gets its name from Pfc. Juan “Doc” Restrepo, a 20-year-old soldier first seen in the movie horsing around with other troops a week before deployment. He will be the first of them killed. This is not a spoiler in the traditional sense; his death will have great meaning and import, as the unit builds a ragged base of operations in the middle of the danger zone and names it for him: Outpost Restrepo, constructed in the enemy’s face as both a tribute to their friend and a sort of taunt.
The film makers Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger follow the Army’s 2nd Platoon in the Korengal Valley, which CNN dubs the “Most dangerous place on Earth,” and roll their cameras without comment. The two claimed that they wanted civilians to get a pure sense of what life is like in the hazardous and often confusing terrain that makes up the mountains in Afghanistan, and the often more-threatening and confusing factions of soldiers and workers who inhabit it.
But what would a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars make of the work? “I found the documentary to be as riveting and realistic as any war movie I’ve seen,” began Donald Blackwell, 44, a former security account manager at the Newspaper Agency building in downtown Denver, Colorado.
He e-mailed film journalist Lisa Kennedy his thoughts at 2 a.m., two nights before he left for Afghanistan to do contract work. He’d be leaving wife LaTonya and youngsters Jasmine, Edward, Qua’Von and Donald Jr. In his 20 years in the U.S. Army, Blackwell had served in Korea and been deployed in Desert Storm and operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
“All aspects were realistic and demonstrated war in the very light that it is seen from soldiers in the field,” he said.
“Restrepo” is indeed a soldiers’ saga. There are no military brass, no diplomats, no politicians weighing in. There are no home front interviews with wives or parents. Instead, shot in intimate video by Junger and Hetherington, the movie is 94 minutes of no-frills combat and recon with a unit in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Around this time last year, Time Hetherington, one of the co-directors of the film, lost his life while covering the rebellion against Qaddafi in Libya.
If you have an account at Netflix, we highly recommend this riveting war documentary. If you don’t, you can begin a free one month trial by visiting this page. Click the image and enjoy the movie at Netflix, Truck Drivers! If you don’t want to create a new account, please view the full movie on YouTube below (we just can’t guarantee that the link will work).
And please, remember our soldiers fighting overseas.
“Restrepo” streaming at YouTube. If the embedded link doesn’t work, visit this link: Restrepo.