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Restrepo filmmakers talk with Rachel Maddow

With a current score of 86 on metacritic, Restrepo is right behind Toy Story 3 and Winter’s Bone in the top tier of most acclaimed movies of the year. WSJ‘s Joe Morgenstern gives the film it’s highest rating among a dozen other unanimously positive reviews:

In one sense “Restrepo” is timeless. The subjects of this superb documentary, by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, are the men called doughboys in World War I, dogfaces in World War II and grunts in Vietnam‚Äîin other words, American soldiers who were fighting wars on the ground long before the phrase “on the ground” became a media clich√©. In another sense the film could not be more timely, since the setting is the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, one of that nation’s most dangerous areas…

“Restrepo” teaches without preaching or taking a position on the wisdom of the Afghanistan war. As you listen to the men, and watch them on their perilous patrols, you learn that they’ve been forced to make the best of severely limited resources. Far from constituting an overwhelming force, they’re underequipped, chronically exhausted, dangerously isolated and haunted by their losses. (A few months ago U.S. troops withdrew from the valley after suffering 50 combat fatalities.) “Hearts and minds,” one of them murmurs. “Yeah,” another replies wryly, “we’ll take their hearts and we’ll take their minds.” This movie will stir your heart and open your mind. It’s a group portrait of practicing patriots.

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