Photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed while covering the civil war in Misrata, Libya in 2010. It was the latest stop in a career defined by steady-handed, humans-first covereage of nearly every major conflict zone the 21st century has seen.
His friend and frequent collaborator, filmmaker Sebastian Junger, was due to be in Misrata working alongside Hetherington at the time of his death, according to a recent New York Magazine piece (a scheduling conflict instead kept him stateside). It’s one of many griefs Junger has had to confront in the years following the tragedy.
Tomorrow night, Junger’s documentary Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, will premiere. Together, Junger and Hetherington made the Oscar-winning documentary Restrepo in 2010, which told the story of a group of American soldiers holding a remote forward operating base in Afghanistan’s deadly Korengal Valley.
Junger’s new documentary serves as a tribute to Hetherington’s life-long dedication to conflict journalism, and at the same time, a study of the strong psychological power the job can wield over the lives of those who do it best. And few are in a better position than Junger to tell an honest story about photojournalists, whose work is so often romanticized and oversimplified.
Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington hits HBO Thursday, April 17, at 8pm.