The Last Patrol

Sebastian Junger
2014 | 86 Minutes | USA
US Premiere | Director in Attendance

Whether fighting or documenting the realities on the ground as a journalist, how does the context of war transform a person’s identity? What happens to that identity when soldiers return home? Sebastian Junger, war journalist and author of The Perfect Storm, explores these questions on a soul-searching journey with three comrades-in-arms. Junger, joined by Brendan O’Bryne and Dave Roels, protagonists of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Restrepo, and combat journalist Guillermo Cervera walk along railroad tracks from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania. They move with a purposeful invisibility designed to echo the isolation felt by many who return from war. The men live outdoors and discuss the transition from soldier to civilian. With the backdrop of a varied United States revealed by the path of the tracks—ghettos and wealthy suburbs, heavy industry and farm country—the juxtaposition of scenery and conversations uncover diverse and conflicting American perceptions of war and what it means for veterans to come home.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between Sebastian Junger and Alisse Waterston. Waterston, a cultural anthropologist who studies the human consequences of structural and systemic violence and inequality, is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Waterston is also President-elect of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).

Co-presented by HBO Documentary Films


Past Forward, My Perspective

"What we think of as the modern, connected world is actually extremely fragment and alienating—at least compared to the tribal communities that typified our ancestral lives. As a result, industrial society has produced the highest rates of suicide and depression ever in human history. But along with that, it has also produced breathtaking advances in science, medicine, human rights and technology. The trick,for our society, will be to regain the human qualities of interdependent communal living while benefiting from the enormous material advantages of the world that we have created."

- Sebastian Junger | Director, The Last Patrol