By Jacob Jimmerson
“Pop, pop, pop!!” The sound of gun fire goes off and the intensity of the scene immediately has you drawn in wanting to watch more. Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger, is a documentary that will have you hooked from the start, if you are into learning about what war is about for the soldiers that protect our country. It will have you laughing one minute, on the verge of tears on another and then clinched into your seat at another moment.
There are some scenes throughout that are hard to believe he really was filming. Whether it is when a bullet misses a soldier by an inch, or when the camera man has to run full speed to a tank because of a sudden firefight. In these scenes the realism of the moment comes from the true reactions by the soldiers and the heavy breathing by the camera man. It will have your eyes glued to the screen and intently listening to the sounds of war and watching every last detail that is in each scene.
Restrepo will bring the realization of war to you as well. In the fact that the Hollywood movies that are made in war don’t always show the mental problems that soldiers can face from being in such a highly populated warzone. It was interesting seeing how the soldiers would react to certain things going on in camp and then see the interviews with them after deployment, about their thoughts of those moments now.
However, if you are not into war or documentaries this probably isn’t for you. I was sitting with some friends while I watched this and they asked me how in the world I enjoyed it. I find seeing the finer details of war and real details really interesting. Obviously, I think a lot of people agree with me because of the high ratings this movie received. Roger Ebert rewarded it with four out of five stars. It shows how hard war is and how hard it is for these men who protect our country. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary, but fell just short to Inside Job. It also won the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Junger does a great job of getting great shots of what is going on in stressful situations. Whether it is when he is right up in the action of a big fire fight, or when he is filming a tough negotiation between the soldiers and the civilians. Which is what makes this film so powerful in my opinion; it puts you right in the action and brings the true intensity of war right to your TV screen. I would personally recommend this film strongly to any mature audience to watch, because of the positive experience it brought to me.
Southwestern will be showing Restrepo Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in Richardson Performing Arts Center. Junger will be on campus March 5 to give the Docking Lecture at 11 a.m. in Richardson.
Jacob Jimmerson is a sophomore majoring in Communication. You may email him at Jacob.firstname.lastname@example.org.