Four years ago Restrepo hit theaters, a documentary from Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington which gave us an intimate look at the life of 2nd Platoon of Battle Company during their 15-month duty in northeast Afghanistan. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination and soon after, Hetherington was tragically killed while in Libya covering their 2011 civil war.
Junger has now returned for a follow-up to the film titled Korengal. As explained by the director, “Korengal picks up where Restrepo left off; the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war. Korengal explains how war works, what it feels like and what it does to the young men who fight it.”
While the film is complete, made up of unused footage from their 2007 shoot, Junger has now launched a Kickstarter in order to get the film released in theaters across the country this summer. He specifically notes it’s to “pay for the bookings, advertising, posters, newspaper ads, a theatrical booker, a publicist, and the distribution coordinator.” Check out the Kickstarter trailer for the film below, as well as his director’s statement and a poster.
To the men of Battle Company, 2/503 –
Six years ago, you welcomed my colleague, Tim Hetherington, and me onto your bases in the Korengal valley. We spent a year, off and on, at the KOP and at Restrepo; we went on innumerable patrols and were in countless TICs. You helped us keep safe and you answered our questions and mostly, you gave us your friendship and your trust…and the result was our film, Restrepo. We wanted to make a completely non-political film that would help civilians back home understand what you were doing for them, and we could not have done it without you guys.
Tim Hetherington Tim and I often talked about making a follow-up to Restrepo, but he was tragically killed in Libya two years ago, covering the civil war, and I was left on my own with the project. I enlisted the other two members of our old Restrepo team and we went back to work. The result, Korengal, is another feature-length film that will come out in theaters in June, and online in September. Like with Restrepo, we paid for the entire production ourselves, which gave us complete control of what the film would be. Restrepo was intended to be a way for civilians to experience what combat feels like; Korengal is very different. It tries for understanding rather than experience. How does fear work? Courage? What is it like to come home from war? Why do so many soldiers miss the war they were in?
I think that many of the questions that you have been asked by civilians over the years, are answered in this film. I’m incredibly proud of it; it truly does pick up where Restrepo left off. I hope you get a chance to see it, I hope you like it and – above all – I hope you are doing well out there in the world. If you come through New York, please let me know. And if you would like to help bring attention to this film when it comes out in June, we would be thrilled to have you on the team.
One can see more information on the official site.
Were you impressed by Restrepo? What do you think of this follow-up?