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Tim Hetherington (1970-2011)

Tim Hetherington (1970-2011) (photo)

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Vanity Fair confirms that award winning photojournalist and documentarian Tim Hetherington was killed yesterday, the victim of an RPG attack in Misrata, Libya. Hetherington was in Libya covering the country’s ongoing civil war. He was 40 years old.

The independent film world best knew Hetherington for “Restrepo,” the documentary he directed with fellow Vanity Fair journalist Sebastian Junger about the war in Afghanistan. The film, about the day-to-day life and work of American soldiers at a military outpost, was an Academy Award and Spirit Award nominee for Best Documentary and won the Grand Jury Prize for documentaries at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

We covered “Restrepo” extensively at from its first premiere at Sundance. I interviewed Junger and Hetherington, and Alison Willmore reviewed the film. Later, Stephen Saito, filed two different features on the film, a report on a screening at the True/False Festival and a Q&A with Junger and Hetherington to commemorate their Spirit Award nomination. Here are Stephen’s thoughts on Hetherington:

“During last summer’s press tour for ‘Restrepo,’ I had the opportunity to spend a half-hour with Tim Hetherington and his partner on the film and book Sebastian Junger. Of course, it wasn’t even close to the amount of time it would take to properly get to know someone, but more than enough to intuit what a humble and gracious gentleman he was, which given his line of work might come as a surprise. As Hetherington’s friends and colleagues have attested in one memorial after another, the man didn’t have the usual makeup for the occupation – he wasn’t an adrenaline junkie and his desire to capture great images was exceeded by his responsibility to finding the truth. Even more amazingly, he did not seem hardened by what he had seen, but instead all the more eager to convey the complexities of war that too few are willing or able to actually report on and was able to recognize through his lens the nobility in those that fought.”

I wrote the introduction to one of Stephen’s interviews with Hetherington and Junger. Today, I keep rereading this passage from that piece:

“How far would you go for a work of art? Directors Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger went all the way to a remote part of Afghanistan to bring us their powerful documentary ‘Restrepo.’ And when they got there, all they did was spend ten months in the middle of some of the most intense fighting in the war. When they were shot at, when they were blown up by a roadside bomb, they didn’t flinch. Even more impressively, they kept the cameras rolling.

“This seems like an astonishing sacrifice, but I imagine Hetherington and Junger don’t look at it that way. They would probably argue that they made no sacrifice greater than that of their subjects, the men of U.S. Outpost Restrepo, and they who don’t view what they’re doing as a sacrifice either. For the soldiers stationed at Restrepo, a tiny 15-man encampment on top of a hill in the middle of intimidating Korengal Valley, their work in Afghanistan is exactly that: a job. A dangerous job, but a job nonetheless.”

Even after all of “Restrepo”‘s acclaim, Hetherington didn’t flinch, didn’t stop. He did his job. But he didn’t just make that sacrifice for art. He did it for the truth.

You can read more about Hetherington’s life and work at Vanity Fair and watch “Restrepo” on Netflix Watch Instantly or on the National Geographic Channel next Monday night at 9:00 PM. Finally, here is Hetherington’s last film, “Diary” from 2010:

Diary (2010) from Tim Hetherington on Vimeo.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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