Sunday, November 27, 2011

Make up research on Civil Rights

Activists in Birmingham launch Project "C" (confrontation). Led by Martin Luther King Jr, and organized by Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Martin Luther King Jr used nonviolent action tactics to show that some laws were unfair. He believed that the actions of the police would be violent and by not reacting back to the violence then they would get sympathy from the people and show that they are not the ones causing the violence. When Martin Luther King jr got arrested it made a huge impact on the movement. "I don't know whether I can raise money to get people out of jail. I do know that I can go into jail with them." While he was in jail he wrote a piece called "Letter from Birmingham" on a newspaper, which later was read by all. This movement made a large impact and was successful.

To learn more:

Aint Scared of Your Jails

I really liked watching this film because it gave me more insight on the SNCC, because I didnt really know who they were or what exactly they did. The goals of the SNCC were to have African Americans be treated equally to white Americans. The members of the SNCC were people who participated in sit-in, where they would sit at the counter of a resturant (which they were not alowed to) for hours to try and make a point to the people in there. Even though they were beaten, the SNCC members did not fight back because they were non-violent. Some SNCC members also were freedom riders. These people went a very long bus rides to different states, where they sat at the front of the bus to speak out against racial discrimination. When the mayor of Nashville, Tennessee said "it was wrong to discriminate based on the color of someones skin" it was a major turning point during this time. This gave the African American people even more determination to continue on what they believed was right. Many of they faced beatings, and jail time, but they continued to fight.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders is a sad story about a group of African American students who try to gain their rights through quiet protest. Unfortunately as they try to do right, the law does wrong. It is sad to see that once in history that our law and government could be so harsh to the citizens in its country. When the rides began and things begin to get tough, Jim Zwerg said, "Segregation must stop. We will continue to ride." The group of protesters would not give up for their rights. I believe if we had more people like that in the US then the country could be a better place.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

Students and community members started their protest to try and get all people to realize that the way the African Americans were being treated was wrong. A quote from the movie was, "We weren't scared of them. As one group of students were arrested, there was a new group of students coming in to take their place". I thought this quote was powerful because it really shows the strong standpoint the students took. No matter how much they were intimidated, it did not matter. It was important that they fought for what they believed was right. I really enjoyed this video. Although I already have learned so much about Martin Luther King, this video showed a side of the civil rights movement that I was not familiar with. Those students were so brave! I don't think I could have done it.

Ain't Scare of Your Jails

As I see it, Ain't Scared of Your Jails was very empowering and it echoes today in the majority of protests that we see and hear about it the news. The students used a number of tactics to get their point across to the community and even the country. The African American citizens of Birmingham, Alabama protested nonviolently in the diners. They were arrested and then new groups would replace them. The protestors boycotted shopping in downtown stores and it led white citizens to not shop at the stores too for fear of violence. The final event that the protestors did was to take part in "freedom rides" to integrate the interstate bussing systems by traveling from D.C. to there "hopeful" destination of New Orleans. Not many made it there because of the severe beatings they knowingly were to meet. They didn't care, they were courageous and as Jim Zwerg, a white man said, We're going to take beating. We're willing to accept death, but we'll keep coming..." To me, that is real courage.

Civil Rights Make Up Work

"Project C" was the plan devised by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to challenge Birmingham, Alabama's system of segregation. They planned to confront segregation through peaceful demonstrations, rallies, protests and appeals to justice. They suspected that the actions of Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor would be violent and that this would attract national attention and create public sympathy for the movement. This was reasoned correctly, Bull Connor used police dogs and fire hoses to disperse the demonstrators. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested by the Birmingham police after telling his staff , "Look, I don't know what to do. I just know that something has got to change in Birmingham. I don't know whether I can raise money to get people out of jail. I do know that I can go into jail with them." It was while he was in jail that he wrote the influential piece "Letter from Birmingham Jail".

To learn more visit:

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

The Freedom Riders were young men and women of both colors who wanted to disrupt the standards of segregation in the Southern communities. They used the key tactic of non-violence and cooperation when opposed by civilians and police. These young people took a class about how to ignore insulting comments and offensive behavior around them when they begin their protests. The local government and the federal government were in conflict about how to handle these protests. When representatives were discussing the issues with the Freedom riders and the boycotts, a rep. from New York stated "I'm advocating the American Citizen interested in democracy." This part stood out to me because he directly answered how he felt about the situations. It wasn't about race, but humans.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

The Freedom Rides consisted of a group of interracial individuals riding from town to town and peacefully protesting. Whites rode on the back of the bus and blacks on the front of the bus. They would get off the buses at rest stops and use the opposite color's waiting rooms, facilities, etc. The goal of the Freedom Rides was to over-through the segregation issues on interstates and at rest stops. Even after being beaten nearly to death, Jim Zwerg said, "Segregation must stop. We will continue to ride." The riders were not going to give up and continued to push farther south.

Ain't Scared of your Jails

Leo Lillard was the boy who wanted to know what all the big fuss was about. So he went to bothe fountains, tasted the water and to his amazement they tasted the same. I thought this part was very important because its true, we are the same. Yeah ok our skin colors maybe different but we are all people who are just fighting for a chance. I also thought it was interesting how when the SNCC got on the bus the whites sat in teh back and the blacks in the front and in the waiting rooms blacks went to the one for whites and vice versa. I thought this was a really great film and really showed what they had to go through.

Ain't Scared Of Your Jails

The black community stood up to get equal rights. They would use sit-in tactics to until cops would arrest them, or till the white community would jump them. They weren't afraid to go to jail as John Lewis said, "...It was a holy crusade, a badge of honor..." to go to jail. They stood up for what they believed in. Some whites joined the movement in going to blacks only places, while blacks went to whites only places. It was a fight for equality, and it was nothing less than a war for the colored community.
I loved the fact that the whole movement was non-violent. Even when beaten, they did not strike back. It takes an amazing about of self restraint to be hit without fighting back. This is the thing that stuck out the most to me watching this movie for the second time. Also it was inspiring how many "white" people were helping out with the freedom rides. I believe in the cause but I honestly cant say if at that period in history if I could have had the courage to do what they did in support of desegregation. I am glad I got to watch this documentary again because I picked up on alot more that I missed the first time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

Overall, I felt the documentary Ain't Scared of Your Jails was very eye opening. I learned even more about the civil rights movement and what it was like for first hand participators. It is amazing what demonstrators had to risk and sacrifice to be a part of the movement and stand up for what they felt was right. In order to make their efforts seen and noticed demonstrators had not violent protests, sit ins, freedom rights, and gatherings where they risked everything to show the people what they felt was right in society and that a change needed to be made. People black and white alike risked being beaten and even killed to stand up for their rights. People sacrificed their freedom, families, and friends to end segregation. Jim Zwerg, a white demonstrator, said, "We're dedicated to this...we're willing to accept death...". Demonstrators were willing to accept death in order to end segregation in the United States. They put everything on the line and I find that amazing and incredibly empowering for a generation of people then and now.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

This video makes your stomach twist. The violence is just heartbreaking and sickenign to watch. These people just wante equality and the get abused for it. The youth wanted to make a difference and stand up for themselves; it worried families sick of what my common upon their protests. however a student said, "be cool mother." The students wanted non-violent protests because they wanted to make a positive difference. A person once even \said"...that youth could be a real force of change." This is why they had the freedom rides. The freedom ride was where the white and blacks simply changed roles. The whites waited in the blacks only waiting room and road in the back of the buses. As the blacks waited in the whites on waiting rooms and road in the front of the bus. This was a innocent non-violent protest, but left an impacting difference in the nation.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

The most amazing thing to me about the whole movement was the fact that they were able to refrain from using any form of violence. The history of this country seems to suggest that whenever someone wanted something changed, they would fight for it. For this movement to be successful without any type of violence, or war, is just amazing. It's even more unbelievable the commitment the protesters had to the cause. "We're willing to accept death". The fact that they would go that far, without retaliating, shows how strong they believed in the cause. Even more impressive is the amount of supporters that still wanted to join the movement even after witnessing the violence against others.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

The Documentary was very insightful. In a diversity class I took last year we watched a documentary on Martin Luther King which touched on some of the issues raised in the video we just watched. I had heard about the Freedom Riders before, but this video just a reminder for me all that they had to go through. One of the interviewees stated that "We were willing to do anything." They wanted to live full lives and they weren't going to let their race or the color of their skin get in the way of being successful. There were many risks and sacrifices that they had to go through. There would be many times when they would get sent to jail because of the sit-ins. Protesting would result in violence from the people who disagreed with the Civil Rights Movement, and anyone standing up for the African Americans would get severely injured. Also is was shocking to watch that some people would go as far as blowing up parts of the buses, to stop what the Freedom riders were doing. "They didn't know what to do, but they knew something needed to be done (to help the African Americans)."

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

Watching this video really showed a whole another culture that thankfully we did not have to grow up with thanks in part of the SNCC. For what the students did and the way that the did it is really admirable. However the thing that amazed me the most was just how bad the south was back then. From riots, to a bus being set on fire, and even a house being blown up with dynamite it is amazing that the SNCC just kept pushing forward. Even the police were against them arresting them and sometimes not protecting them from the mobs. Also the mayor's speech on the sit-ins was very ironic when he said, "Peace, unity, and order will be maintained in our city" when he could have put an end to segregation at any time.

Aint Scared of Your Jails

This film was very thought provoking. While, probably, just about everybody knew about these actions from history, it was cool to get a documentary perspective on this. I just could not believe how these people would sit and take everything the crazy people threw at them. They took non-violence to a whole new level. On the first day on the sit in they were so set on being non-violent one of the people thought: "Laughing would be insulting." That just amazes me that these people put so much thought into this they thought that if they laughed, they would send the wrong message.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

This presentation of how people restrained themselves through acts of non-violence are very motivating. It seems like it would take a lot of practice in order to keep yourself from retaliating. The quote,"Our negros are happy" seems like such an outlandish statement. It sounds like the "South" thought of themselves as owning them. The film was very inspirational.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails

What I found to be interesting about the video Ain't Scared of Your Jails is the tactics that were used to protest in a non-violent way. One tactic that was used was to sit in restaurants and public places integrated when these places had been segregated in the past. A protestor reflected upon this experience and the way they conducted themselves, she says they were, "dressed like they were going to church." The groups planned everything down to what they wore. This shows that the protestors were very serious, deliberate, and professional when they protested. They set an example for all future non-violent protestors with the attitude and manor in which to protest effectively.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


What struck me the most about this film was how brave these young men were. They knew that they were going to the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, the Korengal Valley, and they were all willing to risk their lives. There was so much danger and violence there, and the possibility of being killed was very high each and every day that they were there. They were at a place where 70% of where all bombs was dropped. The men would be involved in 4-5 shooting per day, and one man said “the fear is always there”. I could not imagine living in fear for as long as these men did.
The scene that was most memorable to me was when they showed the man that was killed during Rock Avalanche. I thought it was very shocking to see the actual true emotions of the men when they saw that he was dead. Actually seeing the man dead, and know that it was real life and not just some movie with actors made it a film that cannot compare to any other. It’s hard to realize the actuality of the war when it’s being portrayed by actors, and this film made it real. They were not acting; it was what they really went though. Just the raw emotions really stood out for me.
I would definitely recommend this film to friends/family. I think that everyone should see this film. It will make people realize what war is actually like. I think that a lot of us here in American forget that we are in a war, and there are people risking their lives every day for us. It would give them a perspective of what these soldiers went though. There not just telling their story to us, they are showing us everything that they went though.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exploration #7: Restrepo

This was a very powerful documentary and a lot of things stuck with me. Although there were many things that stuck with me there was one in particular stood out. The fact that all the soldiers kept saying that they weren't prepared or ready for being in the Korengal Valley. They were all relatively young and for a lot of them it was their first experience in active duty. Just seeing that for a lot of them it was their first time in combat, but also in what President Bush described as, "the most dangerous place on Earth" was really strong and stuck with me. I'd never known war to be that constant barrage of firing from all sides. It's just a new thing for me because none of my family has ever been in the military. Just how nieve were these soldiers to what they were to experience? They were all thinking that it was a shoot-em up video game and is very evident when one said, "I wanted to go in their with an open mind. being shot at everyday. I'd fix it and we wouldn't get shot at anymore."

The scene that was most memorable to me was when the soldiers came in and had to see the innocent people and children that they had accidently killed or hurt. It stood out to me because it is terrible that in war some people have to die when they shouldn't in order for the ones that ought to be killed to be killed. These people and kids were innocent and probably carrying out chores and everyday life when they were brutally bombed unexpectedly.

I would definitely recommend this movie to any adult who does not understand the concept or severity of war like me. I had no idea that the soldiers were under this constant fire from all sides. It was just amazing.


The thing that struck me the most in the movie Restrepo, I think was in the very beginning Captain Dan Kearney said " Just let me kill the damn enemy". They dont see them as people, but an object to kill, which I hate to say is probably what they are told to do.
The scene where Rice says "Ruegal got killed, best guy got killed. What's gonna happen to me, or the guy to my right or to my left?" seems very emotional because once you see someone actually get killed, I can see why he would think "well when will I go? or my buddy?"
The person I would have recommended it too had already seen it. He mentioned his buddy being in the Cornwall Valley right now and it hasn't gotten any better then what the movie tells. He has been in the Army and was in Irac, he told me that is a pretty good example of what war is like there. Having to watch your back every sec. because you never whats going to happen.

OP Restrepo

All I can say is wow. My brother is a marine and although he has not been in active duty yet this film kind of scared me. The only thing I really remember is actually seeing the bullets fly through the air and the emotions of the soldiers when someone was killed in battle. The violence really sticks with you. The soldiers wanted to mourn but Captain Dan Kearnry told them "I want you to mourn but I want you to get over it and do your job", (Restrepo). The most memorable scene to me was the scene of Rock Avalnche, the whole part of the film just stuck in my head. It was a violent place and the soldiers were scared. Being apart of the audience, you could tell that they feared the war but tried to be positive about doing their job. I would definitely recommend this movie to my friends and family especially my brothers. All of my brothers want to join the army or marines when they become of age. My oldest brother is already apart of the marines and he has yet to see active duty so maybe this movie can show him what he might be up against one day.

Exploration 7: Restrepo

The thing that struck me most from this film was just how dangerous this area of fighting was. I was terrified for the soldiers the entire time. I was interested in how the mountains affected the fighting as well as how the fighting affected locals. The scene that stayed with me from the film was the scene where one of the soldiers died. The dead soldier's friend learns about his death and us grief stricken and terrified. I think that this scene really illustrated how the soldiers must have felt terrifed every day. I think that this affected me becuase I could feel the soldier's pain. I would reccomend this film to any of my friends who are interested, however, I am from a military family and my aunt is on her second deployment to Iraq so I'm not sure if I would reccomend it to anyone in my family because it would most likely terrify them. I know it terrified me.

Exploration 7

The most striking moment in this film was when the Native said, "Five are dead and ten of out women and children are injured, tell me which ones are Taliban." This struck me hard because it shows how hard it is to differentiate between people in times of war. The soldiers may have killed Taliban members but they also killed innocent citizens.

The scene that was most memorable to me was when the soldiers set up Outpost Restrepo. OP Restrepo was a small victory for the troops. It was a sign of strength for American troops. They had secured a good outpost and were able to hold it down, giving them the upper hand on part of the valley.

I would recommend this film to family and friends because it shows the attitude and feelings our soldiers have while fighting overseas. It also shows that while it may seem we are fighting a losing war, we are making progress.

Exploration 7

The scenes that struck me the most were the action scenes. The shootings, and the aftermath of bombings. This is real stuff, and seeing the affects that it does really stuck out to me. These were real deaths in a film. "This is the aftermath of a AB 17 bombing" said by one of the men while in the house they bombed. It injured young ones, and demolished the house. This scene and the scene of them in the shootout on the cliff by the trees stood out because, these are peoples lives in danger. I would recommend this film to any family, and friend ecspecially if they were joining the service. I would recommend this film so they can see what real wars expectations are.

OP Restrepo

What was not said hit me the hardest in the movie. There were many times when the soldiers being interviewed just sat in front of the camera and thought. No words would explain those thoughts so they didn't try to make sense of those thoughts. The most powerful part of the movie to me was when they had let off flairs where Restrepo had been killed. "Raise on up and say a prayer" one soldier said. Again the soldiers didn't say much, but you could see the pain in their faces talking about their fallen soldier. I would recommend this to my family and friends because we have a lot of vets and people serving now. I think it would be helpful for them to see that the soldiers can still have fun over there even though they are in a war zone.
"I can't sleep. I have been on so many sleep aids but none of them work. I still have nightmares." What struck me the most about the film was that I didn't think that anyone with a video camera would get that close to a firefight. I also liked to see the interaction between the soldiers and the locals. The scene that was most memorable to me was when one of the soldiers was shot and killed beside the tree and another huge soldier just burst into tears and was crying. It made me imagine what I would have done if I were there. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Restrepo: Exploration Seven

When Mike first told us we were watching a war documentary, I thought to myself, great this will be boring. Restrepo proved me wrong. One of the very first scenes when they arrived to Korengal Valley, was when they were in the middle of an explosion caused by a carside bomb. My cousin Casey is stationed in Iraq right now, and he rides on top of the humvee's. It really got my attention because, that could easily happen to him. What struck me most about the film was how dangerous the Korengal Valley was. Everyone hears about war and what goes on there. But to have actual footage is a completely different understanding.
"I called my mom and said one last I love you before we went." Captain Kearney said before they started Rock Avalanche. Not many soldiers get the chance to make one last phone call before they go to battle. The scene when Pemple and Cortez go out to find Sgt Rice and the other wounded soldiers is a scene i'll probably never forget. When they pull the jacket over Sgt. Ruegle's body. These men are on an emotional rollercoaster. One minute they can joke around and have a good time. Then the next they are in fire fights, adrenaline pumping and getting shot at. I would definitely recommend this movie to all my family and friends. Especially those who were in war. I've already watched it twice since Monday. I think it's important for people to see what actually goes on there. It's history. We need to know about the people fighting for our country. It definitely makes the scenes from The Things They Carried, come to life.

Exploration Seven

One thing that struck me in Restrepo was how brutal the Korengal Valley was and how no soldier wanted to go there. I know war is brutal and it is hard everywhere in war, but the Korengal Valley is known as one of the most dangerous places in the world. I do not remember who said it but there was one soldier who said that if you told another soldier that you were stationed at the Korengal Valley, they had sympathy for you because every soldier knew that the Korengal Valley is the one place you do not want to be stationed at. Also, something else that struck me was how few soldiers were stationed at Restrepo. If it is one of the most dangerous places to be stationed at, I feel like there should be more than one hundred soldiers there instead of like 50 or so that they had there. One quote that i really liked was when Captain Kearny said that "Restrepo was the most important thing that happened in Korengal." This suprised me because I would think that pushing back the Taliban or killing the enemy was the most important thing to happen, but instead it was building O.P. Restrepo.

The most memorable scene to me was the scene when the platoon saw one of their fallen soldiers. This scene really sticks out to me because it shows the love and respect for one another that every soldier has with each other and when one brother dies, it feels like losing a relative or family member. This scene also sticks out to me because it give us a first hand look at the pain and grieving that the soldiers go through when someone dies and that is something you would never experience unless you went to war or saw a documentary like this.

I would definitely recommend this movie to other people because I think it is important to see what is going on when there is a war happening, and it is also important to see the heroes of this nation protecting us. I would also recommend this movie because it helps to inform us on the war and shows us the true nature of war.

Exploration 7

What struck me the most was when the soldiers were in the village looking at all the injured civilians. This image of the hurt children made me sick to my stomach. I know the soldiers have no choice, but I feel horrible for those injured children, who are not even old enough to understand the concept of war. No thoughts or words could come to my mind when I saw these injured and hopeless children. I just had a sick and uneasy feeling in my stomach. Obviously, what the soldiers saw during their deployment was unbearable. A sergeant himself said, “ I can't sleep anymore...that's how bad the nightmares are”. All the images that they saw of death just haunts all the soldiers and it effects them mentally, enough to not be able to sleep.

The most memorable scene of the documentary was when it showed the soldiers in silence. Many soldiers were interviewed throughout the documentary and many had heartbreaking, gut-retching, or funny stories about the war. However, when each of the soldiers got to the point of silence and just stared into space was that one scene that I'll always remember. In their eyes you could see suffering, untold stories, and unforgettable experiences. Their silence to me, meant more than any of the stories they told. These were tough men, mentally and physically, but they were to the point of breaking down. Nothing is more memorable then those face of those soldiers.
I would only recommend this to people to watch, if they actually want to learn about war. I would highly recommend this video as an educational and breath-taking video. However, I would never recommend this to my family, simply because my grandfather fought in the Vietnam War. War is a sensitive topic for my family and this video would have emotionally been to much for my family, because they don't want to see how horrible my grandfather had to suffer. He had to do horrible things in war, many were so bad that they are untold stories just like the ones you could see in those soldiers eyes.

Exploration Seven

The most profound concept that stood out to me during the clip was how, despite being in the equivalent of hell on earth, the soldiers were able to stick together and still find enjoyment. Despite their comrades falling in battle, war going on all around them, they were able to find time to smile and keep their spirits up regardless the situation they were in. Their training and strength of will bonded them closer together as their predicament seemed to be able to get no worse.

The scene which was most memorable was the reaction in Rock Avalanche when a soldier was shot and killed. Most men in our society are taught crying is a sign of weakness and try to hide their emotions. This soldier didn’t care about others around and truly showed the anguish he felt of losing a friend. At first I felt awkward when I saw him crying since I usually don’t see men cry. But then I gained respect for him. In the midst of combat, he bared his emotions in front of his men and didn’t care.

I would recommend this to some of my family so they can have a better understanding on the exact details that happen overseas. Most people just assume the war and what happens while the soldiers are gone. I think this video would help them really know what it’s like to be away from home and lose close friends from following orders. I think this video would help people understand soldiers aren’t the ones to blame for war; they’re just doing their job.

Exploration 7

What struck me the most was how dangerous the valley was. There was gun fire every day and a lot of chaos. "it was like if everyone in the world wasn't fitting. They were all right here." When the soldier said that it made me realize how much danger there was being in this valley. I couldn't imagine being in a situation like this.

The scene that was most memorable for me was when a soldier was playing on his guitar and singing. Even though all of this chaos was going on around these men there was still moments where they felt safe enough to try to enjoy themselves and do something to relax them.

I would recommend this film to friends and family because it shows just how dangerous war can be. It also shows that people in the military are human and they go in scared even though they appear not to be. Watching this movie further increased my respect for people serving daily to protect our freedom.

Exploration 7

What struck me the most about the film is when they went into the Valley. Most people would prefer to stay away from their enemies. Unfortunately, they were forced to go amongst the enemies and civilians to show their presence, and gather intel. The Sergeant says,"It's scary to know that the enemy can walk up, kill you, steal your weapon, and get away."
The most memorable scene in the movie was the part with the cow incident. It was the first time where the civilians came down from their homes to go to the American fort. The scene was also at the peak of humor in the video, which made it more memorable for me.
I would probably not recommend this video for kids or anyone not interested in the war. It would be a good documentary for older people interested on what the front lines of Afghan looks like.

Exploration 7

The thing that struck me the most was how dangerous the valley is. When President Bush said "This is the worst place on Earth." For the President of the United States to publicly call out an area of the world that was currently occupied by troops, shows how bad it really is. The one thing that did surprise me was how the men still found ways to use humor and still show plenty of courage. "Restrepo was a giant middle finger to them." This showed that no matter what the Taliban put up against us, we would always overcome it, while still having some fun with it.

The scene that was most memorable was Rock Avalanche. Just the fact of knowing what had happened in the past, made this such a crazy mission. Seeing the reactions of the men after a few of them had been wounded was just unimaginable. On top of that, having so much fire directed toward them, without being in a good position is insane.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who thinks war is all fun and games. Their are so many people like this that play war video games all day long, claiming all they want is to fight. These kind of people really need to see what war is really like.

Exploration 7

One of the things that really struck me as I watched Restrepo was how much ambiguity and chaos there was in the whole situation. Nowadays people seem to expect order and control even in war. The phrase “War has become routine” could only occur in a world where people expect things to follow very orderly patterns. Restrepo seems to challenge this concept and implies that war is still mostly chaotic and uncontrollable. Even if war is routine in concept its execution is still a difficult road to walk. Even just negotiations appear very nerve wracking and uncertain as the movie shows the captain trying to bridge cultural differences and years of mistrust in his talks with village elders. I think the uncertainty is best seen whenever the men talk about accidents. The accidents seem so frequent and vary greatly in their effects on the men. In particular when the captain describes how his orders “killed five men who didn’t pull the trigger [attack them] but were in some way connected to [the Taliban]” (Restrepo) you truly see how ambiguous the missions, enemies, and consequences really are.

For me the most memorable scene is when one of the soldiers begins crying upon seeing his friend killed during the fire fight. It seems easy to think that soldiers are desensitized to death but this seems to be only partially true in my opinion. It is more soldiers are desensitized to murder, not death. Everyone is still affected when they lose someone they care about, the only reason soldiers appear desensitized is because they can’t stop fighting every time they lose someone. If they did then they would lose everything that person had died for. Seeing one of the soldiers break down and begin crying helped me remember that every single death still mattered to these people, regardless of if they saw death a lot or not.

Restrepo is an exceptionally good movie for explaining what it felt like to be the soldiers stationed in one of the most unpleasant war zones in the world. I would easily recommend seeing the movie to learn more about the war and the people in it, especially since it tastefully avoids large amounts of blood. It isn’t the most refined movie, if refinement is all you’re looking for you’d probably want to go with Hotel Rwanda over Restrepo in terms of war movies and Kandahar probably shows the lives of the Middle Eastern people more accurately. Looking solely from the perspective of soldiers, Restrepo is one of the best choices and I would recommend it to people so long as they are interested in the war already. If one isn’t interested in the war to begin with then Restrepo won’t change his or her mind anytime soon.

Exploration Seven

What struck me the most about the film Restrepo was the constant state of fear the soldiers were in. The troop was stationed in one of the most dangerous places in war and in turn feared for their safety. Upon arriving, one of the soldiers expressed this fear when he said, “The monkeys were howling and I thought they were Taliban.” The soldiers paid attention to every sound and movement around them in case it was made by the enemy. Later in the film a soldier further expressed this feeling when he said, “The fear is always there, especially at night.” Despite their constant state of fear, the soldiers fought for the safety of Americans with great sacrifice.

The scene that was most memorable to me was the scene when the troop got together to remember Restrepo. They told stories and in a way brought life back to their lost friend. This short scene stood out to me because it shows the unity of the group. Each soldier has a different past and personality yet they had formed a family that supported and respected each other. Perhaps this unity is what gave the soldiers hope through the testing times of war.

I would definitely recommend this film to my friends and family. It gives great insight to the experiences of soldiers at war. The film did not seem to be partial to one perspective but instead was authentic to all sides of war. It shows both the good and the bad of the experiences at war. My friends and family could learn a lot from watching Restrepo.

Exploration 7

The thing that struck me the most about the movie would have to be just how rough an environment Afghanistan is. Not only is it a rocky desert, but the soldiers were fighting right in the middle of a mountain belt. The Lieutenant summarizes it best when he says they "felt like fish in a barrel." The fact that they could have ambushed from all sides is a scary thought to think about.Another thing that struck me was the story of how the Restrepo base came into being. The fact that the base was built on top of a mountain during a fire fight is incredible. What also is amazing is how building that single base was a turning point in the war in the valley. I loved the soldiers quote of how "building the Restrepo base was like giving the enemy the middle finger".

The most memorable scene of the movie Restrepo would have to be when the men lose one of their own. I do not remember the name of the soldier who died, but the scene when his fellow men see his body is hard to forget. This is probably the strongest scene in the entire documentary.

I will totally recommend this movie mostly because I do not feel that people really know much about the war in Iraq. I know that before this movie I really did not think that there was much going on in the middle east now. Mostly because I never watch the news or read articles, but I think everyone should at least know one story about the men and woman who are fighting for our country.