Hop Film Event


October 22, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Film Event season. This is an archived view.

With incredible access and undeniable fearlessness, Matthew Heineman '05 offers a gripping account of the American withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan and its aftermath.

22/23 Hop Film Event

Retrograde Teaser | National Geographic


Director Matthew Heineman '05 (The First Wave, A Private War) again risks life and limb to give us an on-the-ground view of the last months of the 20-year war in Afghanistan. With astonishing access, Heineman and his crew document the shocking, hurried flight of American soldiers after the withdrawal. The Americans leave, but the filmmakers remain to fearlessly shadow General Sami Sadat, Afghanistan's young, charismatic military leader.

The tragedy unfolds before our eyes, as Sadat struggles to keep his new American-trained army, and his country, from collapsing. Premiering at the Telluride Film Festival this year, Retrograde offers an intimate and deeply human account of the end of the Afghan war, and a clear-eyed, heartbreaking picture of the deadly costs of American foreign policy—especially for the "friends of America" who trusted and needed us. D: Matthew Heineman '05, US, 2022, 1h34m

Discussion follows the film with Director Matthew Heineman '05

Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker. The Sundance Film Festival called Heineman "one of the most talented and exciting documentary filmmakers working today", while Anne Thompson of Indiewire wrote that Heineman is a "respected and gifted filmmaker who combines gonzo fearlessness with empathetic sensitivity."  His works include The First Wave, The Boy from Medellín, Tiger, The Trade, City of Ghosts, Cartel Land, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, The Alzheimer's Project and Our Time.

In 2019, he received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America for his narrative debut, A Private War—making Heineman and Martin Scorsese the only filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards.  His City of Ghosts also won the Courage Under Fire Award from the International Documentary Association and was listed on over 20 critics and year-end lists for Best Documentary of 2017. The film was also nominated for a BAFTA Award, PGA Award, IDA Award, and Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Cartel Land was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and won three Primetime Emmy Awards. The film premiered in the US Documentary Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where Heineman won the Best Director Award and Special Jury Prize for Cinematography. Cartel Land was also awarded the Courage Under Fire Award, the DGA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary, and the George Polk Award in Journalism.

Heineman, a 2005 graduate of Dartmouth College, is based in New York City. Learn more>

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