Journalist and documentary filmmaker Sebastian Junger says he will no longer travel into active combat zones following the death of his friend and 'Restrepo' co-director Tim Hetherington (above), who was killed during a mortar attack while on assignment in Libya.
During a question and answer session following a screening of 'Restrepo' to honor Hetherington at the Hot Docs festival, Junger said that he now knows the pain of losing a close friend during an attack and is unlikely to put himself in a situation that could result in that same pain for his friends or family. "I'm 49. I've made my peace with almost getting killed," Junger said (via the Hollywood Reporter). "What I didn't realize, and what I've now experienced, is losing someone close to me."
'Restrepo,' about a platoon stationed in the deadliest region of Afghanistan, garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary. Junger and Hetherington were on assignment in the Korengal Valley for Vanity Fair for a year, and the video they recorded to document their experience became the basis for 'Restrepo,' named after the outpost where Junger was embedded. The film won the Grand Jury Prize for a best domestic documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
"You're really responsible to more people than yourself," Junger told the audience. "The central core of war isn't that you might die, but that you will lose a brother. The next time I see the film, I'll be reminded about the death of a brother."
In addition to 'Restrepo,' Junger is the well-known author of 'The Perfect Storm,' the source material for the George Clooney / Mark Wahlberg / Wolfgang Peterson blockbuster, and the recent book 'War,' which Time magazine named one of the top 10 non-fiction books of last year.
Check out the 'Restrepo' trailer below: