Hetherington's photos from Afghanistan for Vanity Fair and others formed the basis for the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, which he directed which his long-time journalistic collaborator Sebastian Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm." Hetherington died today while covering the conflict in Misrata, Libya. From Vanity Fair's website:
“Tim died about two hours ago,” said Peter N. Bouckaert, of Human Rights Watch, in Geneva, a friend of Hetherington’s. “Three other journalists were also hit [in an] R.P.G. attack, one being Getty photographer Chris Hondros [who was seriously wounded]; photographer Guy Martin, of the Panos Agency, who is in very serious condition; and a freelancer, Michael Brown, who is slightly wounded.”
Hetherington was widely respected by his peers for his bravery and camaraderie. His imaginative, even artistic, approach to photojournalistic subjects led to many honors, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts as well as grant from the Hasselbald Foundation. He released two other films, "Liberia: An Uncivil War" (2004) and "The Devil Came on Horseback" (2007).
As recently as yesterday, Hetherington tweeted about “indiscriminate shelling” by pro-Qadaffi forces in Misrata, and he sent an email to a Vanity Fair editor, “Am currently in misrata - would have made interesting article with SJ” (meaning Junger).
Remarked Cathy Saypol, who represented Hetherington for several years, “We are saddened beyond words that our friend, photographer and filmmaker, Tim Hetherington, was killed in Misrata this morning.”
Hetherington was 40 and also produced pieces for ABC's "Nightline." Hondros, an American working for the Getty photo agency, suffered a severe brain injury and was said to be in extremely critical condition, the New York Times reports. [Update: Hondros has now died, the NYT says.]
"Restrepo," which followed one platoon in Afghanistan over a year, won the 2010 Sundance grand jury prize for documentaries and was nominated for a 2010 Oscar. Trailer below:
* Email: Afghanistan veteran Robert C. J. Parry, a National Guard captain living in Monrovia, writes: "I cannot begin to describe how important his documentary Restrepo was. Though my unit's life was less spartan, that was Afghanistan as I knew it....He will be missed."
Photo by Matt Stuart at VF.com