I recently finished watching Janus Metz’ 2010 documentary “Armadillo” chronicling a Danish platoons deployment in Helmand province. As I watched it, I strained my memory recalling parallels with the late Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s “Restrepo” also released in 2010, the journal of an US Army platoons year in the Kornegal valley. There are absolute differences between both efforts, from a cinematographic perspective I prefered Metz’ film despite the necessity of reading subtitles. I found the home front aspect made some of the characters a bit more relatable, doubtless, young men here also have raunchy send-offs and download internet porn though said portrayals would almost guarantee non-cooperation from Army authorities.

Interestingly, the IMDB message board for Armadillo has barely generated 90 replies, not even meriting a second page, as opposed to the four pages of messages devoted to Restrepo. The vitriol on the latter board also reaches a fever pitch in several threads that veer off topic rapidly. For the time being, I’ll defer my views on the long-term consequences of the nation building experiment that is Afghanistan and content myself with recommending both films highly.

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