Our comm class recently watched Restrepo, a film by Sebastian Junger and Tim Herthington. The film focused on small group of soldiers in the Korangal valley of Afghanistan as they struggle to maintain both the physical outpost of Restrepo and deal with the emotional effects war has on them. As a form of journalism promoting awareness, I found this film to be balanced when dealing with most issues these soldiers are exploring, however, I would criticize the film for being self-censoring. The film deals aggressively with the realities of the war and moves gracefully between periods of realization that these men are in a war zone and happiness these men also experience at the same time. My criticism of self-censorship comes from the way the men’s personal lives are presented. I feel that there was more raw emotion, more sexism, and other methods of coping that were not presented. I would venture that these portions were cut to prevent insulting the men or were censored by the American government.
My own personal response to the film was jarring. It was much more in depth then articles such as the NYTimes or Vanity Fair had covered, and I felt more emotional ties to the story presented as a result of the video over the articles. I personally found watching the film the most effective way of communicating these events, particularly regarding the reality of the conflict.