Sebastian Junger, the co-director of "Restrepo," has written a beautiful piece in Vanity Fair about his friend and fellow war correspondent Tim Hetherington, who was killed in an RPG attack Wednesday in Misurata, Libya.
Junger, who addresses the letter to his confrère, reveals that Hetherington was planning to make a war film about the affinity of young men and war.
Before this last trip you told me that you wanted to make a film about the relationship between young men and violence. You had this idea that young men in combat act in ways that emulate images they’ve seen—movies, photographs—of other men in other wars, other battles. You had this idea of a feedback loop between the world of images and the world of men that continually reinforced and altered itself as one war inevitably replaced another in the long tragic grind of human affairs.That was a fine idea, Tim—one of your very best. It was an idea that our world very much needs to understand.
Junger, who worked together with Hetherington for Vanity Fair magazine before going on to co-produce/direct "Restrepo," goes on to write:
I’m in the truck with you. I’m imagining those last minutes. You’re on your back watching the tops of the buildings jolt by and the blue Mediterranean sky beyond them. I almost drowned once, and when I finally got back to the beach I was all alone and I just lay there watching the clouds go by. I’d never really thought about clouds before, but there they were, all for me, just glorious. Maybe you saw those clouds, too, but you weren’t out of it yet, and you probably knew it. I know what you were thinking: What a silly way to die. What a silly, selfish, ridiculous mistake to have made. Don’t think that, brother. You had a very specific vision for your work and for your life, and that vision included your death. It didn’t have to, but that’s how it turned out. I’m so sorry, Tim.
You can read the full letter here.