I’ve seen hundreds of war movies in my lifetime, from dramas like The Thin Red Line to documentaries like Iraq in Fragments, but none ever felt truer than Restrepo, the 2010 doc directed by photojournalist Tim Hetherington and author Sebastian Junger. Anyone who has seen the film will understand what I mean. The duo spent a year embedded with American troops in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a forward outpost that, essentially, was engaged—some might say “trapped”—in a prolonged gunfight. A shaky, often hectic film, it’s meant to be immersive, not pretty—to show the real horror of war, which is that someone is always trying to kill you.
Today it was reported that Hetherington, 40, was killed while on assignment in Misrata, Libya. Born in the U.K. and raised in Brooklyn, he was both a British and American citizen, but more than anything he was a citizen of the world, bearing witness to the awful things that human beings will do to each other.