KORENGAL picks up where RESTREPO left off; the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war. KORENGAL explains how war works, what it feels like and what it does to the young men who fight it. As one soldier cheers when he kills an enemy fighter, another looks into the camera and asks if God will ever forgive him for all of the killing he has done. As one soldier grieves the loss of his friend in combat, another explains why he misses the war now that his deployment has ended, and admits he would go back to the front line in a heartbeat. Every bit as intense and affecting as RESTREPO, KORENGAL goes a step further in bringing the war into people's living rooms back home."
To the men of Battle Company, 2/503 –
Six years ago, you welcomed my colleague, Tim Hetherington, and me onto your bases in the Korengal valley. We spent a year, off and on, at the KOP and at Restrepo; we went on innumerable patrols and were in countless TICs. You helped us keep safe and you answered our questions and mostly, you gave us your friendship and your trust…and the result was our film, Restrepo. We wanted to make a completely non-political film that would help civilians back home understand what you were doing for them, and we could not have done it without you guys.
Tim and I often talked about making a follow-up to Restrepo, but he was tragically killed in Libya two years ago, covering the civil war, and I was left on my own with the project. I enlisted the other two members of our old Restrepo team and we went back to work. The result, Korengal, is another feature-length film that will come out in theaters in June, and online in September. Like with Restrepo, we paid for the entire production ourselves, which gave us complete control of what the film would be. Restrepo was intended to be a way for civilians to experience what combat feels like; Korengal is very different. It tries for understanding rather than experience. How does fear work? Courage? What is it like to come home from war? Why do so many soldiers miss the war they were in?
I think that many of the questions that you have been asked by civilians over the years, are answered in this film. I’m incredibly proud of it; it truly does pick up where Restrepo left off. I hope you get a chance to see it, I hope you like it and - above all - I hope you are doing well out there in the world. If you come through New York, please let me know. And if you would like to help bring attention to this film when it comes out in June, we would be thrilled to have you on the team.