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"Restrepo" Documentary Captures the Life of a Soldier in Afghanistan

Politics are a part of every war, but not always a part of the lives of those who fight them, according to Sebastian Junger, co-director, producer and videographer of the documentary "Restrepo," which details the lives of a platoon of soldiers over a 14-month-deployment in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan.

"There's a larger conversation about the war, a political conversation," said Junger, who sat down with moderator Bob Orr on Washington Unplugged today along with Major Daniel Kearney, the commander of the men in the documentary. "It's a necessary one, but that happens here. The soldiers really don't think in those terms and we wanted to capture their reality."

Junger and his partner Tim Hetherington were extremely careful in making sure the documentary captured nothing outside of a soldier's life. That carefulness applied to everything from what they filmed to the questions they asked.

"The soldiers can't ask a general why they're in the Korengal Valley, so we didn't ask a general that question," Junger said. "We really stuck to this six-mile-long valley."

The journalists' ability to be down to Earth created a solid relationship between them and the soldiers.

"They got a camera but when they're talking to you, they're your friends," Kearney said. "They're not this person who's trying to draw something out of you that you've got to be cautious about. They're just talking to you as a normal human being, and you kind of just break down that barrier that might be there with some instances with the press."

With no barriers between them and the press, the two journalists were able to get to know the soldiers they were bunking with, all who lived at an outpost called Restrepo, named after a beloved platoon medic who was killed early in the deployment. He wants those who see the film will get to know the soldiers too.

"I really hope that people can see the movie, whether they were for or against the war, liberals or conservatives, doesn't matter," Junger said. "Leave your politics behind, sit and watch this movie and try to imagine what it's like for these guys. They chose to serve their country, they did it and they're coming home with this experience. We need to understand them."

Make sure to watch Friday's Washington Unplugged featuring CBS News National Security Analyst Juan Zarate and CBS' own Kaylee Hartung on World Cup fever in Washington DC.

"Washington Unplugged,"'s exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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