The penultimate film in this year’s Documentary Premieres wraps up today’s Sundance profiles: Sebastian Junger’s WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE? THE LIFE AND TIME OF TIM HETHERINGTON
Sundance Program Description:
Photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was always searching for the humanity within wartime conflict, as evidenced in his award-winning body of work. When he and Sebastian Junger spent a year filming a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in their Academy Award–nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning film RESTREPO, they weren’t simply looking for action; instead, they chose to focus on the many small moments that make war real. Hetherington’s footage of time he spent with the rebel army during Liberia’s civil war and in Libya prior to his untimely death from a mortar blast in 2011 conveys a rare sense of intimacy in sharp contrast to the violence surrounding him. Although he spent most of his time traveling to the epicenter of war zones, he was seeking the truth, rather than adventure. That is Hetherington’s enduring gift.
Director Sebastian Junger gracefully weaves together footage of Hetherington at work and moving interviews with his family, friends, and colleagues to capture his compatriot and friend’s unique perspective, compassion, and intense curiosity about the human spirit.
As noted above, journalist Junger is a Sundance alum with his debut film, RESTREPO (2010), directed with Tim Hetherington, who had previously been represented in Park City as a cinematographer on THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (2007). Joining Junger as producers on the film are James Brabazon, who co-produced Sundance alum WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN? (2008); Nick Quested, executive producer of Sundance alums ON THE ICE (2011), THE ART OF GETTING BY (2011), RESTREPO, THE WINNING SEASON (2009), and this year’s World Cinema Documentary Competition title PUSSY RIOT – A PUNK PRAYER; and, for HBO Documentaries, executive producer Sheila Nevins and supervising producer Sara Bernstein.
Why You Should Watch:
Hetherington’s death had a big impact to many in the documentary community, making Junger’s loving portrait one of the must-see docs in this year’s lineup. But that’s in no way to suggest the film is too insider – on the contrary, Junger has crafted an accessible film that is universal in its approach, crystallizing the humanism in the charismatic Hetherington’s work, especially his focus on war and the young men implicated within it.
For more information about the film, visit its Facebook page. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.