Alex Witt   |  April 14, 2013

Documentary chronicles journalist who lost his life in Libya

Sebastian Junger talks to MSNBC’s Alex Witt about losing his dear friend and co-director Tim Hetherington. Junger is out with a new HBO movie “Which Way is the Front Line from Here?” The movie chronicles Hetherington’s career that eventually lead to the small city on the Libyan Coast where he lost his life.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> two weeks ago, rather two years ago this week, photo journalist jim hetherington was killed in -- out with a new movie for hbo. which way is the front line from here? it chronicles hetherington's career that took from the tsang s of the -- and eventually to that city on the libyan coast.

>> the reality of war isn't am i going to get killed out there. you're guaranteed to lose your brothers.

>> i talked with younger recently about what made tim so special and why is work is so missed.

>> he was an amazing combat photographer. he just had that down, he was so brave and he he captured incredible images. but that was just the starting point. what he really wanted to do was tell stories about the human experience. he wanted to talk about people, whether it was refugees in afghanistan or a taxi driver in the city. his photos are almost an after thought, what he was really after was a human connection. he wanted to tell stories using visual media . what he wanted to point out is our commonality. he was very attuned to the sort of quiet dignity of the human struggle and i think he wanted to wake other people up to that as well.

>> something you say in the film that rings true and is a little frightening u but you say a core truth about war is that you're guaranteed to lose your brothers. so with that, what is it that drove you, tim , your buddies to keep going back?

>> well, after tim was killed, i decideded very abruptly, within an hour or to of finding out that he was not going to cover war anymore. war is a lot of things, it's incredibly exciting, it's very dramatic, it's very scary, it's very meaningful. it's devastating, it's all kinds of sort of over the top things. what you don't realize initially is that the thing it's really about is you're risking not just your life, but you will probably lose someone you love. and a platoon mate, a fellow journalist, we gear up with the risk to ourselves, no one gets geared up to deal with that kind of loss. that's the ultimate truth about war, and i think when i exexperienced it with tim , i didn't have the stomach for it anymore. tim 's boundless energy in the field, not just as a -- tim was very focused on a bit of an enigma, war is so terrible that young men are drawn to it. it's something that society has to understand and he dealt with it quite explicitly in his work, tim was drawn to it in his work and it killed him. it's something we have to figure out as a society.

>> what do you think tim would think of you making this documentary?

>> i wouldn't have made it if i had thought that he wouldn't like it. i kind of checked in my internal version of tim . he worked in visual media and it seemed like to me the perfect way to try to preserve his memory and his work to make a film about him. i think he would have liked the film.

>> which way is the front line from here, it debuts thursday night on hbo.