Most documentary filmmakers attempt to see the world through the lens of the subjects they’re shooting, but few put their lives on the line to do so. That perhaps is what most separates first-time directors Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington from a few of their colleagues who didn’t take home the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Their award-winning “Restrepo” is the result of a near yearlong embedment with the Second Platoon, Battle Company in eastern Afghanistan’s deadly Korengal Valley, during which they survived like soldiers wielding cameras in lieu of guns. While the two don’t lack name recognition — writer Junger is the bestselling author of “The Perfect Storm,” and along with prizewinning photojournalist Hetherington, is a longtime contributor to “Vanity Fair” — they’ve used their critical prestige to shine a light on the identities of the little known. Like “Doc” Restrepo, a platoon medic killed in action but not forgotten at the outpost that bears his name.
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.