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Restrepo | 2010 | R | - 3.8.10

A documentary that follows the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team stationed in Korengal Valley, the deadliest combat region in Afghanistan. Interviews with some of the soldiers allow them to describe their experiences on the front lines. Directed by Tim Hetherington & Sebastian Junger. [1:33]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - Using crude language, a man jokes that he would have sex with another man. A man is seen making a crude motion while saying to the camera that he is going to do the same to his "baby" when he got home.
 Men and young men are seen shirtless on various occasions. A man without a shirt and wearing shorts is seen sleeping on a cot.
 A group of three men grab a young man and hug him closely, joking that he is beautiful, and push him to the ground after the young man jokingly slaps another man on the behind.
 Three elderly men are seen looking at a magazine with a photograph of a woman wearing a bikini.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - We see three soldiers surrounding a body that's lying on the ground, and a fourth soldier screams and cries that the man had died, while a man narrates that the man had been shot and killed by enemy fire (we see a jacket being pulled over the dead body and three men carry the body away; no blood is visible).
 The lifeless, bloody body of a child is seen as a man holds a crying child with blood on her face and arms.
 As a soldier fires a large rifle, and we see his back completely covered in blood (the blood presumably belongs to someone else, as he appears unharmed).
 On numerous occasions soldiers are seen in a bunker or on a mountainside, firing large machine guns into the distance at an unseen enemy while shots are fired back at them: On one occasion a man's foot leaps out of the way as a bullet hits the ground near it and the man is heard screaming, bullets are seen flying through the air next to two men crouching on the ground next to a large machine gun and firing into the distance, soldiers are seen loading a rocket into a rocket launcher and crouching to the ground as a large explosion is seen on a distant mountaintop, and a man firing a gun has a spent shell fall into his open shoe, and he yelps and kicks the shoe off to prevent the hot shell from burning his foot.
 A man explains to three elderly men that a cow had been caught in barbwire and had to be killed because it was mangled and was going to die in any case; two men are seen stabbing an injured cow in the neck, and a small stream of blood pours onto the ground.
 We see footage of a soldier holding a large gun leading a man and a woman, who are holding a small child, out of a building; the man then holds the gun while interviewing the man, surrounded by a group of other soldiers who are also holding rifles and we read captions that the interviewee is worried a group of militants will kill him.
 Massive explosions are seen as a helicopter circles in the sky and fires missiles and an airplane fires at a mountainside; soldiers open fire on the mountainside and walk through a destroyed building as a man explains that the destruction was the result of a helicopter missile.
 Men are seen spitting on multiple occasions, including a man making a loud noise while spitting a large chunk of phlegm on the ground next to another man.
 A young man describes having been ambushed, and that when he was shot in the chest he was thrown to the ground and an RPG was fired toward him causing an explosion of shrapnel that injured over half of his body; he then rolled down a hill to the bottom of a valley where he laid until help arrived and the rescuers describe finding him covered in blood and that one of them had shoved his finger, knuckle-deep, into a bullet wound to stop the bleeding. After firing at an unseen man, two soldiers happily cheer as they explain that they had killed a man, and that they saw body parts explode from his body. We hear that five men were killed (we see a sheet covering presumably the five bodies) and that ten women and children had been injured during a bombing. A man explains to a group of soldiers that another troop had been attacked, nine men had been killed and 12 injured, and that the soldiers should take their anger and make the people who had killed the soldiers feel it by killing them. A man instructs two men to "take the head off" the man who had shot and killed a soldier. A man is instructed to remove the dead and injured from an area of heavy gunfire. A young man says that he had seen two soldiers die. A young man explains that a man had been shot in the neck twice, and while trying to stabilize him, he had bled out. We hear a discussion about the death of two soldiers on multiple occasions, repeating that they had been killed by enemy fire. A group of elderly men ask a soldier where a man had been taken, the soldier explains that a man had been detained for questioning, one of the elderly men says (through a translator) that another man had been taken for questioning and had never returned and the soldier explains he was detained because the soldier had seen video footage of the man cutting off the heads of two people. A young man narrates that he had not told his parents about seeing his friend killed or that a fellow soldier had to have his arm amputated due to battle injuries. A man explains that he had heard the area he was about to enter was the deadliest area in Afghanistan, coming under fire multiple times every day, and he explains that he wants to change that and fire back until the soldiers are no longer under fire on a daily basis. A man states that an area where a group of soldiers were located had come under more than 70% of the bombing that an entire country took. We see a statistic on the screen that nearly 50 soldiers had been killed in the area. A young man narrates that he no longer sleeps because he has such horrible nightmares of people dying. Three young men say that they thought they were entering an area to die. A man explains that when people had enlisted in the military they did so knowing that they might possibly die in combat, and a group of soldiers nods in agreement. A man says that a ranch where people shoot wild animals is not unlike being where they are in war. A young man explains that he had not been allowed toy guns as a child or allowed to play violent video games, and that his parents had taken away a water gun because it was too violent. A man shouts at a group of soldiers.
 A man jokes with another young man that the young man is in charge of burning the feces of the group, and we see a barrel with fire coming from it. A man says that a group of people must burn their feces. A young man tells a group of men about how, while intoxicated, a man had threatened to stab someone and then urinated on himself.
 Two men play-wrestle as a group of men shout at them; two men are seen play-wrestling, and one of the men has his legs around the other's waist as the man punches him in the stomach lightly.
 A man stacks up a collection of guns and mortar shells at the feet of a soldier.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 81 F-words and its derivatives, 20 scatological terms, 5 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, a man says a patrol unit was "like a big middle finger," name-calling (crazy, hippy, Cherry), 2 religious profanities, 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A young man says that being shot at is similar to what it must be like to be high on crack. A young man tells a group of men about how, while intoxicated, a man had threatened to stab someone and then urinated on himself, and four young men have empty beer cans in front of them and joke about being drunk. Men and young men are seen smoking cigarettes throughout the movie.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The war in Afghanistan, death of a loved one, soldiers away at war, support of troops at war, the bond of soldiers serving in the field, deployment time, mourning, grief, revenge, communication with people in different languages.

MESSAGE - A person cannot forget that military presence in Afghanistan has a personal face. Combat causes psychological trauma.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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