I can't really do a typical style of reviewing for this film so I will do my best to write a great review without it.
I went to see this film as an extra credit assignment for my Film 101 class. I am really glad that I did. It was an excellent film. See, with all of the turmoil in Iraq, the general public seems to have forgotten that we still have brave troops stationed in Afghanistan fighting and dying just as much as the soldiers in Iraq. I think it's because Iraq is causing such a big stir because we shouldn't still be there. There was a lot of debate over whether or not to go into Iraq. There was never really any debate about Afghanistan. No one begrudged us the Afghanistan invasion after 9/11. Why would they? The Taliban attacked us.
One of the biggest things that made this film so powerful was the fact that it was real. If you see a soldier get shot in the movie Saving Private Ryan, you know that when the director yelled 'cut' he got up and was alive and well. If you see blood on someone, it's fake. Not here. Here it''s all real. You know that there was a soldier named Restrepo who really died. If you see blood on a soldier's uniform, its actual blood from someone who got shot. When a soldier fires a machine gun and it hits an insurgent and the guy with the binoculars says "you ripped him to shreds there." You know that those bullets hit a real person and that the person died. That's what makes a war documentary more powerful than any war film can ever be. it's real. It's actually happening.
After the film there was a Q&A session with a soldier who had been in Iraq and it was interesting to hear his take. However, in the audience there as a guy who had actually been to the Korengal valley and had lived through this kind of stuff. it was really interesting to hear him talk about coming home and readjusting to civilian life particularly how he described how the Army pounds any empathy in their soldiers because it is impossible to kill someone you empathize with. He also talked about regaining some of that empathy once you got back from combat because it is easier to kill once you've done it.
so, that's my take on Restrepo. it is an excellent film that I highly suggest to anyone who likes documentaries like this.