Restrepo

8 04 2011

Rating: R

Runtime: 1 hr. 33 min.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, 7.8/10

Restrepo takes its viewers into an uncomfortable setting–the battlefield of Afghanistan. Although relatively bloodless, it shows all of the emotions that come with war from addiction to killing, soldiers goofing off with one another and the pain that comes from losing a friend. Most striking, it shows it all as it unfolds. There are no actors. There are no reenactments. Everyone has their emotions on their sleeves and all the benefits and costs to war are exposed.

While not strictly an international film, Restrepo shows the difficulties American soldiers face in attempting to communicate with cultures extremely different from their own. Soldiers must bear a heavy burden as they negotiate with tribal leaders, fight off Taliban fire and manage their own longings to return home.

There is nothing glorious about Restrepo. There is no grand reception upon their departure or return to the U.S. There is no idealism to their days spent in a hot, small outpost in the middle of the Afghan countryside. There is nothing to be dreamed about in fondness in the future. But that, the filmmakers show, is real, unfiltered war.

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