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Tim Hetherington, 1970 - 2011

Updated through 4/22.

"Tim Hetherington, the Oscar-nominated film director and conflict photographer who produced the film Restrepo, was killed in the besieged city of Misurata on Wednesday, and three photographers working beside him were wounded," reports CJ Chivers from Benghazi, Libya for the New York Times. Business Insider's Glynnis MacNicol has been tracking the shocking news over the past few hours as it spread via Twitter and Facebook and she's now seen confirmation from the AP and AFP.

In his report for ABC News, Devin Dwyer quotes Nightline executive producer James Goldston: "Tim was one of the bravest photographers and filmmakers I have ever met. During his shooting for the Nightline specials he very seriously broke his leg on a night march out of a very isolated forward operating base that was under attack. He had the strength and character to walk for four hours through the night on his shattered ankle without complaint and under fire, enabling that whole team to reach safety."

Last June, David Cairns wrote here in The Notebook that Restrepo "deals with the Second Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade, stationed in Afghanistan during a 15-month deployment which sees several of them killed and most of the survivors left with what seems like lasting psychological damage. Audiences may feel some small portion of that emotional turmoil after being exposed to it." Patrick Z McGavin and Aaron Hillis spoke with Hetherington about Restrepo last summer. IndieWIRE's Peter Knegt notes that Hetherington was also a cinematographer on Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's The Devil Came on Horseback.

The above film, Diary (2010), "is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting," Hetherington wrote three months ago. "It's a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media."

The New Yorker's photo editor, Whitney Johnson, looks back on working with Hetherington and points us to his book, Long Story Bit by Bit: Liberia Retold (more from the NYT), and an audio slide show of photos he took in Guinea in 2009.

"Tim was about as perfect a model of a war photographer as you're going to find these days, and one very much in the mold of Robert Capa and Larry Burrows," writes Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

Tim Hetherington's site. And Twitter account.

Updates, 4/21: "Chris [Hondros] and Tim are at sea now, heading toward Benghazi, which means, in the indirect but solemn ways that the fallen travel from battlefields, that they are heading home." At his own site, CJ Chivers explains why everyone who "admires Chris and Tim, and everyone who loves them, has a debt of gratitude to Human Rights Watch and to the International Organization for Migration" and to André Liohn. Via Movie City News.

Viewing (1:35:56). Hetherington discusses working in West Africa.

Updates, 4/22: In Vanity Fair, Restrepo co-director Sebastian Junger writes an open letter: "You and I were always talking about risk because she was the beautiful woman we were both in love with, right? The one who made us feel the most special, the most alive? We were always trying to have one more dance with her without paying the price. All those quiet, huddled conversations we had in Afghanistan: Where to walk on the patrols, what to do if the outpost gets overrun, what kind of body armor to wear. You were so smart about it, too — so smart about it that I would actually tease you about being scared. Of course you were scared — you were terrified. We both were. We were terrified and we were in love, and in the end, you were the one she chose."

Slate's Dana Stevens: "Experiments like Diary and Hetherington's 4-minute film Sleeping Soldiers (a record of exactly that, featuring some of the same men he'd filmed in Restrepo) suggest to me that, had he lived, he might not have continued as a documentary filmmaker, at least not exclusively. It's easy to imagine him making a great fictional film about war, or an essayistic real-life road movie a la Chris Marker. His short films' distinctly nonjournalistic concern with perspective and voice — with interpretation — indicates that Hetherington was exploring new ways to look at and think about the large-scale human suffering that had long been his subject matter as a journalist. That he didn't live long enough to make more movies is just one of the many reasons to mourn him."

"No matter how good you are, death can come in such a place," reports Evan Hill from Benghazi for Al Jazeera English. "Two photojournalists, Briton Tim Hetherington and American Chris Hondros, met their ends there on Wednesday, hit by shrapnel from the blast of a rocket-propelled grenade. Hetherington appeared to have bled to death from a leg injury; Hondros suffered a devastating wound to his head and never came out of a coma. Around three dozen journalists gathered for their memorial service late on Thursday night at a small, tucked-away lecture room in the Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi, where their bodies were returned on a ship chartered by the International Organisation for Migration. New York Times reporter CJ Chivers, wearing muddy hiking boots and a plaid shirt, acted as plainspoken MC and promised, as an Irishman, to celebrate the men's life. The British and American special envoys to the opposition government, in suit and tie, made remarks honoring Hondros and Hetherington's work. Two cameras, like riderless horses, sat back-to-back on the table at the front. A large chalkboard served as backdrop."

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Extremely sad to hear this.

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