National Geographic Entertainment has picked up the rights to Restrepo, the documentary by journalists Sebastian Junger ’84 and Tim Hetherington that follows a platoon of American soldiers in Afghanistan. The film won the Sundance Film Festival grand jury documentary prize and is set for release on June 2. The National Geographic channel, which has worldwide TV rights, will broadcast the film next fall.
The film was named after a 15-man outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S military.
“From May 2007 to July 2008, Hetherington and Junger dug in with a platoon of men from Battle Company, the Second Platoon of the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based at Restrepo,” notes a National Geographic press release. “Named in honor of the platoon’s medic, PFC Juan ‘Doc’ Restrepo, who was killed in action, ‘Outpost Restrepo’ had no running water, no Internet, no phone communication, often no electricity or heat, and it was attacked as many as five or six times a day.”
Says Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Cinema Ventures says, “Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger have made a film unlike any other about men in harm’s way. We see their courage. We experience their frustrations. We share their bonding. We hear the music they listen to, and we see the snapshots of their kids that they pass around. It is something that audiences have never before experienced. As they fight the Taliban, these 15 men win our hearts and minds in a way no fictional film can.”