Kabul, just before the Taliban retook the city; the last US marines are supported by the remnants of Afghan commandos. Meanwhile, desperate local families of US Army contractors storm the US embassy and airport in hopes of escaping the besieged city.
An impressively artistic cinematographic record of the final moments before the fall of Kabul in August 2021. Matthew Heinemann has gotten audiences used to putting his own life in danger to film his characters despite bullets whistling all around him. In “Retrograde” he observes the U.S. Marines tasked with destroying military equipment that cannot be evacuated from Afghanistan. Heinemann documents the desperate mission of a young Afghan general commanding the last redoubt of resistance against the Taliban. When only the nation’s capital remains in the hands of government troops, he films their desperate attempts to board the final departing planes. Filmed in the midst of unrelenting upheaval and danger, “Retrograde” contains no unintentional shots. These beautiful and terrifying images will stay with us for a long time.