A Taste of Dawn RADIO spends a full hour interviewing and talking with Sebastian Junger
This week I had the distinct honor of having Sebastian Junger call in for a Full Hour discussion: Academy Award Winning Writer/Director for “Restrepo“, “Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington“; the 2013 Official Selection of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. This film is dedicated to a journalist and humanitarian, Tim Hetherington, that I was honored to meet in 2011 before his untimely death in Syria only a few months later. I met both Tim and Sebastian at the Academy Awards Symposium for Documentary Films in February of 2011. Our conversation began once the screenings and panel concluded but it was the topic of genocide in Rwanda and a story I was writing at the time that spurred on a fascinating talk with Sebastian Junger. As I spoke with an uncertainty about “why” things like civil unrest go so unnoticed or aided, he calmed my passions with his experience an kind approach. He recognized the need I had for wanting to change the world in some way and while I couldn’t leave my daughter behind to go to war zones, Sebastian had this unfaltering way of making me feel as if I was still on the path of doing something that mattered in the world. In times when the world is fraught with news that is often skewed by media whores and self interest groups, to find a journalist and writer like Sebastian is why I write at all. He and Tim risked their lives regularly – (not with a willingness to be dangerous but rather to tell the true story of war. Sebastian’s career has been one based on humanity as was Tim’s professional and personal passions. in his life Both are men of utmost integrity and having a full hour to talk with Sebastian was wondrous, engaging, honest, and utterly inspiring. Thank you to Sebastian for giving me the opportunity and platform to engage in topics I care deeply about – and for educating me on so much!
Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington
A Film by Sebastian Junger
Official Selection 2013 Sundance Film Festival
A moving portrait of the acclaimed war photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington by his RESTREPO co-director-journalist Sebastian Junger
On April 20, 2011, shortly after the release of his documentary RESTREPO — and only six weeks after attending the Oscar ceremony as a nominee — photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed by mortar fire in the city of Misrata, Libya, where he’d been covering the civil war. He bled out in the back of a pick-up truck while being raced to the hospital, comforted by a Spanish photojournalist who was holding his hand and trying to keep him awake. Those moments ended a brilliant ten-year career in which Hetherington not only covered such dramatic frontline stories as Liberia and Afghanistan, but also transcended the conventional boundaries of image-making to become one of the most important journalists of his generation.
In the powerful new feature-length HBO documentary WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIME OF TIM HETHERINGTON, Hetherington’s RESTREPO co-director and bestselling author Sebastian Junger (“The Perfect Storm,” “War”) traces his close friend’s work across the world’s battlefields to reveal what made him such a singular talent — and remarkable human being. The film also illuminates the incredible risks of the combat journalist’s profession, at a time when they are dying with greater and greater frequency in war zones.
WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? will have its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Premieres section, followed by its debut on HBO in April 2013. The film screens just three years after Restrepo was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in documentary competition. Hetherington and Junger spent a year embedded in Afghanistan with an American platoon in Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature the following year.
During the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the Julie Nester Gallery will present an exhibition of photographs by Tim Hetherington. Opening Jan. 17, the exhibition will consist of photographs taken in Liberia and Afghanistan and will be on view through Jan. 30th. The gallery is located at 1280 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, Utah.
The April HBO debut of WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? coincides with the publication of “Here I Am: The Story of Tim Hetherington, War Photographer” (Grove Press), a compelling portrait of the photojournalist by journalist and writer Alan Huffman.
The family of Tim Hetherington has gifted The Estate of Tim Hetherington to The Tim Hetherington Charitable Trust. The Trust will use all proceeds from Hetherington’s photographs, exhibitions, books and films for humanitarian causes. Visit www.timhetherington.org for more information.
WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIME OF TIM HETHERINGTON is an HBO Documentary Films presentation; directed by Sebastian Junger; produced by Nick Quested and James Brabazon; field photography by James Brabazon, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger; edited by Geeta Gandbhir and Maya Mumma; supervising editor, Geeta Gandbhir; original music by Joel Goodman; co-produced by Gretchen McGowan. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.
Sundance Film Festival 2013
Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues
We train and equip freelance journalists in all media to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield. Freelancers comprise the vast majority of those who cover wars, and consequently make up the vast majority of deaths and injuries. Surviving a gunshot or shrapnel wound is often a matter of doing the right thing in the first few minutes, and our training focuses on that brief, critical period of time. It is our hope to make first aid training the industry norm – like having a flak jacket or sat phone – and to prevent unnecessary deaths in a job that is so vital to human dignity and human rights.
RISC trainings are provided free of cost to experienced, published freelance conflict journalists. While staff reporters are often provided training by their employers, freelancers have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to participate in traditional hostile environment courses – and most simply cannot afford to. Please consider making a donation to help RISC train more independent journalists around the world.
Next Training: NYC March 26-29
RESTREPO is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo,” named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.
The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs are a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.
– Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
The film received the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It received a certified fresh rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert awarded Restrepo four out of four stars. Additionally, numerous critics and publications included it in their annual top film selections.