MOVIE REVIEW: 'Korengal': Sequel revisits soldiers, targets war aftermath

by Tom Keogh The Seattle Times - Updated: July 10, 2014 at 9:01 am • Published: July 10, 2014 0

Starring Dan Kearney, Lamonta Caldwell, Santana Rueda, Jason Mace; directed by Sebastian Junger; 90 minutes; R for language throughout and brief nude images; B

 

A sequel with an unusual provenance, "Korengal" is made up of unused footage from a 14-month shoot from 2007-08 that already yielded the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo."

"Korengal" is set in the same war in Afghanistan captured in "Restrepo," as well as in the same patch of mountainous terrain as the earlier film. And it features the same soldiers that filmmaker Sebastian Junger and the late cameraman Tim Hetherington closely tracked while embedded with the Battle Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Where the intense "Restrepo" focused on the harrowing experiences of young soldiers facing the mayhem of war every day, "Korengal" is a little more abstract, an overview of the psychological and emotional impact of living through those experiences for a year. Most fascinating is the seemingly unanimous feeling that while deployment in Korengal was hard and heartbreaking, these veterans would do it all again just to stay together, to remain brothers who mutually understand something no one else will ever know.

Tom Keogh, The Seattle Times

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