National Geographic Entertainment has obtained the domestic rights to the documentary Restrepo. This film was one of the opening films at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and won the festival’s documentary grand jury prize. Restrepo was directed and photographed by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger.
The documentary follows a platoon from Battle Company, the Second Platoon of the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Their mission is to secure the murderous Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, which President George W. Bush dubbed “The Most Dangerous Valley in The World”. This mission lasted from May 2007 to July 2008. The outpost was named after PFC Juan “Doc” Restrepo, a very well liked and lively soldier was killed in action. The spirit of that soldier was felt throughout the outpost despite it being under attack as many as six times a day.
National Geographic Channel will premiere Restrepo in the fall.
Travis and I screened this film following it’s opening. This was the second (of many) films we screening at the festival. You can hear our thoughts on the film here.
Personally, I think Restrepo, should make a theatrical run. This film is too important and gripping not to expand to more than a cable network. I know this is a very small film and doesn’t have the mass appeal to a wide audience. I mean, who wants to see a war movie set in the Middle East? No one saw The Hurt Locker when it was originally released. But because of the recent success of The Hurt Locker, critically, I do feel Restrepo needs to be seen by liked minded theater goers. If you like The Hurt Locker than you might like Restrepo. The opening sequence of Restrepo, alone, is as intense and thrilling as anything as you’ll see in The Hurt Locker.