Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Restrepo Earns a Well Deserved Nomination

OP Restrepo

Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington at OP Restrepo

One of the nice surprises when I got up this morning was to learn that the documentary film Restrepo had been nominated by the Academy Awards in the best documentary category. I have followed this film ever since fellow blog friend Mark of Zenpundit had a post publicizing the showing in Chicago last summer. Soon I was able to view the movie when it opened for a run in Southern California and with my own eyes, became convinced of the films great merit in capturing the emotions of a platoon of soldiers both in combat and later, as they reflected on images that are forever imprinted in their minds.

The filimakers, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington spent 15 months off and on with the soldiers capturing the essence of men under fire and how they reacted to the mundane and the profane. During the filming, an action took place that saw the Medal of Honor won by Sgt Sal Giunta the only live soldier since the Vietnam War to receive the award.

No mention of this fine film would be complete without mention of a new blog friend who besides being an Army surgeons wife, writer, and blogger, was the film's promoter who was instrumental in getting it shown across the country. Kanani Fong deserves praise for her time and devotion to supporting the troops as well as organizing efforts to assist returning veterans and the families of those deployed. This morning after the nomination Kanai posted this about the film.

Making the film was the hard part. Promoting it was easy (at least for me). Because for those of us with loved ones in the war, Restrepo was always personal. I mean, for me... my husband was the surgeon in Asadabad. The Korengal was a hop, step and a jump away.
In the long, dusty corridors of war with its stale smell of punditry, assumptions, and stereotypes along came this film. It helped us put our thoughts about war into some kind of order. Finally, we saw where our loved ones where, it added texture to what we already knew. I was the smallest cog in the PR machine, which if you must know --wasn't that big. Think of it as a small, efficient machine, with all the parts working to bring this film into the bosom of the American public.
It is well worth a few minutes to visit and read Kanani's whole post and the heart felt thank you from the filmmakers.
"We heard the news this morning about the Academy Award nominations - and wanted to thank you all for your support for Restrepo. While the nomination is a recognition of the movie, we hope it's a fitting tribute to those who have fought and died in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. We made this movie because we wanted to bring the war into people's living rooms back home. We hope the nomination will continue to promote an open and constructive dialogue about the war. Thanks again for all your continued support in making the movie a success.
-Tim and Sebastian
Read more:
Straight To The Heart;

In this age of tilting at left leaning windmills by most of the Hollywood crowd, some had said that a film like Restrepo was too popular and controversial to make the cut. Let's hope that the voting academy sees to honor what is perhaps the best documentary to come out of nine years of war.

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