Tim Hetherington after being presented with a Quilt of Valor by the Quilts of Valor Foundation
I was saddened to hear the news from Kanani Fong that Tim Hetherington, the gifted documentarian and journalist who made the critically acclaimed film RESTREPO was killed today in Misrata, Libya. Preliminary details are sketchy but early reports had Tim and another reporter suffering shrapnel injuries from an RPG during an attack by Gaddafi forces on Libyan rebels:
Leila Fadel, a Washington Post reporter who was at the hospital, reported that Hetherington was rushed from the battle by ambulance along with rebel fighters. He was taken to a triage tent next to the hospital, she said, and appeared pale and was bleeding heavily. He was pronounced dead some 15 minutes after his arrival, according to her account in The Washington Post.
“Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict,” Hetherington’s family said in a statement. “He will be forever missed.”
Hetherington was best known as co-director of the documentary film “Restrepo” with Sebastian Junger, author of “The Perfect Storm.” The film tells the story of the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company in the 173rd Airborne Combat Team on its deployment in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. It was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary. The title refers to the platoon outpost, named after a popular soldier, Juan Restrepo, who was killed early in the fighting.
I did not know Tim personally, though I attended an early screening of RESTREPO where the audience included soldiers who had been at Restrepo and their family members. The documentary was powerful and touched the lives of many people and was a testament to the physical bravery of Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger who stood alongside American soldiers in the firefights of the Korengal Valley. That was Ernie Pyle journalism at it’s best.
Sincere condolences to the friends and family of Tim, who are numerous in this corner of the blogosphere