Shortly after Tim Hetherington returned from the Academy Awards, where his movie Restrepo was nominated for Best Documentary, he left to cover the conflict in Libya. Roughly a month after that, while working in the city of Misrata this past April, he was killed by a rocket propelled grenade. His good friend and partner on Restrepo, Sebastian Junger, remembered him with a powerful essay in Vanity Fair. Hetherington’s own words, provided to this magazine a month before he left, offer a view into his motivations.
“I don't buy the whole altruism thing. I think at the heart of altruism is a selfish deed. You know, and that's fine. . . I want to reach people. Can't it come out of a place of personal curiosity? A desire to locate myself in the world and also have some utility?” —Tim Hetherington
The best way to think about his utility is to watch Restrepo. It takes the viewer inside—as much as a movie can—the lives of men fighting a war that’s still going on.