Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington: An eloquent tribute to a renowned photojournalist

The late Tim Hetherington, right, with friend and collaborator Sebastian Junger in Afghanistan.

Reuters

3 out of 4 stars

Directed by
Sebastian Junger
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2013

"I think war is part of the hard-wiring of young men," Tim Hetherington once said, and for much of his short life, he offered himself as proof – not as a combatant but a photographer, in Sierra Leone and Liberia and Afghanistan and, when that fatal mortar exploded, in Libya.

Sebastian Junger, who worked with Hetherington on the celebrated doc Restrepo, paints a biographical profile that often speaks eloquently to the unique nature both of his late friend and of war itself. Helping him immeasurably are Hetherington's superb images, the best of which transform action into reflection, isolating still points in the bloody frenzy of combat, moments that are touchingly personal yet harrowingly resonant.

In West Africa, the photos show us the child soldiers, thin and bedraggled yet posturing like men. In Afghanistan, they reveal the American soldiers, burly and tattooed yet acting like children, no more so than in an extraordinary series that captures them sleeping – quiet for once, their armour down, faces serene and bodies curled inward, just vulnerable boys awaiting their fate.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Film critic

Rick Groen is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨