In Pentagon parlance, it is called Retrograde: the withdrawal of US military presence from foreign soil, and it represents a moment of heightened danger, most acutely for those who worked alongside US military forces. Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning director Matt Heineman’s new documentary captures the wind down of America’s longest war in Afghanistan. Heineman follows the Green Berets, ordered home with virtually no time to prepare the Afghan Army’s leadership. Heineman is there as they prepare for the country's next chapter under Taliban rule, destroying supplies and weapons that could end up in the hands of the very forces they fought for twenty years. He captures the chaos of the Kabul Airport, where soldiers struggle to ferry the denizens of handlers, drivers, interpreters and others who assisted the US operation and their families to safety in the west. And he offers an intimate look at the determination and, ultimately, the despair of an Afghan general who sees the path he’d worked to clear for his country’s future swept away, as the Taliban rises again.
Screening followed by Q&A with director Matt Heineman.
(Screening located at National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium, entrance 1145 17th Street NW.)