KORENGAL picks up where RESTREPO left off: the same valley, same men, but a very different look at the experience of war. KORENGAL not only shows what war looks like, but how war works and what it means to the young men who fight it. While one soldier cheers when he kills the enemy, another asks if God will ever forgive him for the killing he has done. As one soldier grieves the loss of a friend, 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 gives audiences a front row view into the world of combat. (C) Saboteur Media … More
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Critic Reviews for Korengal
If the first film was made more for civilians who have never experienced war, the second seems to be aimed at veterans who want to reflect on their experiences.
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 on else will ever know.
Reminds us that Americans not very different than ourselves took the military as a job of work.
Not quite a coda to Sebastian Junger's and Tim Heatherington's...Restrepo - more of a commentary track, or a series of annotations.
"Korengal" revisits some of the men featured in the original, talking to them stateside about their experiences. They make poignant if not unprecedented insights into the warrior code, and into the complicated lives of stateside veterans.
In a series of expertly edited interviews conducted with infantrymen on their way home after a year in the Korengal Valley, Junger exposes us to the war's psychological toll.
"Korengal" doesn't have the immediacy of "Restrepo," but it's frequently affecting, as well as being a remembrance of just how young the people are we send into harm's way.
Korengal lets us see how young men in the U.S. Army came together, formed friendships and shared troubles that we may never fully understand. We should, at least, try.
"Restrepo" felt like the story of how boys become men. "Korengal" feels like the story of how strangers become family.
Those of us who haven't served on active duty can't know what it's like. Taken together, "Restrepo" and "Korengal" brings us about as close to the experience as we can, or would want, to get.
The film is a tribute to the courage, tenacity and sorrow of the men with their boots on the ground in a place very far away.
They hash out the manifold ordeals of their service, but rarely does anything startlingly new emerge -- which is not to say that the film doesn't have value. War is hell and always will be.
You go to war with the Hemingway you have. Ours is Sebastian Junger. KORENGAL is riveting, you-are-there filmmaking.
The success of 'Korengal' lies in its ability to convey the complicated mixture of emotions connected to the combat experience.
I see little reason for simply rehashing the material and presenting it in a slightly different package.
If one has seen [Junger's] Oscar-nominated "Restrepo," "Korengal" plays like outtakes mixed with talking head reflections...more of the same.
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