Sebastian Junger to speak on journalism and filmmaking career

Andrew Kollar, Staff Reporter

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Director of the groundbreaking documentary Restrepo, Sebastian Junger will host a free book signing to discuss his New York Times best-selling book, Tribe on May 10 at the SURC Ballroom at 6 p.m.

Junger will be speaking about his career in journalism and filmmaking with a question-and-answer session followed by a book signing for Tribe.

Tribe compares the relationship between western, ancestral roots of tribalism and the tribalism of military veterans that are taken away from the brotherhood of their platoon to come back to everyday, American life. Through this book, Junger discusses the combination of psychology, anthropology and history to explain the difficulty for veterans returning home.

“I thought that the struggle that veterans have coming home was a very good way to look at the problems in modern society,” Junger said. “The topic, per se, wasn’t what I was trying to get at. It was a lens through which to look at why modern society is hard for everybody. We are all vulnerable to the alienating effects of modern society.” Per Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications.

In his film Restrepo, Junger followed the U.S Army through the Korangal Valley infamously known as “The Valley of Death” in Afghanistan and documents the deployment of U.S soldiers in one of the most dangerous postings in the entire war. The film shows the Second Platoon, Battle Company from their initial deployment through the time of their return home.

Junger has received the “Leadership in Entertainment Award” for his work with the U.S military from the Afghanistan Veterans of America, per Lowery. Through this experience Junger has seen post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that soldiers go through and is able to show the struggle through journalism and filmmaking.

After his friend Tim Hetherington, a photojournalist died covering the civil war in Libya, Junger decided to end his career in war reporting.

“I saw the effect of Tim’s death on all the people he loved,” Junger said. “All sudden, war reporting seemed, sort of, selfish and self-involved instead of heroic and noble.” Per Lowrey

Junger has struggled with PTSD from his war reporting but he has managed to push through the struggles associated with combat to be a productive journalist with the focus of troops returning home.

“You’re traumatized” said Junger “Not just by the possibility that you might get hurt, but by witnessing other people get hurt. Of all the things that affect you, that’s the most enduring. You go to war and you’re going to change a lot and that affects the rest of your life.”

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Sebastian Junger to speak on journalism and filmmaking career