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” is about the Valley of Death in Afghanistan. Specifically, the constant battle between down time and armies of insurgents sneaking up on the squad. Back and forth, it goes like a ballet of cosmic violence until finally you get to leave. Junger does a great job surveying each member of the squad, but no one really bad mouths the War. Everyone comments on why they’re there, but there’s no real solid answers other than the desire to leave once the job is done. That’s typical for documentaries like this, but I felt there was a real sense of dismay in the soldiers here.

War is hell. But, surprisingly no one died during the production of this documentary. Sure, some soldiers take pleasure in killing the enemy, while others question what they’re doing. But, you get the sense that everyone cares for each other. They’re just having philosophical issues with the life of a soldier in the modern era. Will they always feel like this? Who knows? Time and not having a camera in your face does a lot to change your worldview. That being said, it’s fascinating and honest without being overtly political. That’s something that has been missing from many documentaries on the subject matter. Focus on the people and let the other claptrap fall into place. Errol Morris was the king of that and I wish that sense of being remained in modern documentaries.

The DVD comes with Junger’s TED talk, commentary and that’s about it for the special features. The A/V Quality is pretty solid. The transfer sports minimal noise. The same goes for the Dolby 5.1 track that makes the action come to life. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 09/09/2014

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