Restrepo: A Humanizing Portrait of a 15-Month Deployment to Afghanistan

It's hard for civilians to imagine what it's like to be inside a war zone. Restrepo, a 2010 documentary, takes you as close as you could be to the action without deploying.

It takes place in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, a.k.a. the Valley of Death, which was at one point, one of the most dangerous postings in the country. Capturing the year filmmakers Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington spent embedded with an army platoon stationed there, the film is hard to watch. You're up close and personal with the troop's negotiations with local officials, close enough to hear bullets whizzing by, and close to feel a soldier's gut-wrenching reactions to realizing one of their buddies has been killed. But this intimate portrait of a deployment is worth watching. It's a rare portrait that does not politicize the war, but rather presents it from the very human perspective of the people who lived it. [Netflix]