Korengal – Interview with Director/Writer/Journalist Sebastian Junger

Journalist Sebastian Junger has travelled the world covering some of the deadliest places on the planet.  Unlike most of his previous work, Korengal, is a unique look into war.  It isn't as viseral and in your face as Restrepo, the previous award-winning documentary that looked into the American soliders stationed in the Korengal Valley.  This movie rather seems more reflective, more open-minded and more distant from the war that has intrigued Junger for almost 3 decades of global coverage.  Rather this warrior in his own right seems at peace, granted a hard-fought peace that has seen his fair share of friends lost along the way.  It was a real eye-opening experience chatting with Sebastian about the realities of war.  It was most eye-opening because he admitted this is the last time he'll put himself in such a dangerous war zone area.  Click through for our chat with Sebastian as well as an intelligent and insightful TED talk.

Before we jump into the interview, I'd like to share Sebastian's Director Statement from the film:

~~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.

Best wishes,
Sebastian Junger

Here is our interview with Director Sebastian Junger.

And now Sebastian's enlightening TED talk:

 

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