The year’s second, and likely more memorable, documentary about the slow-then-fast collapse of the Kabul government in 2021 is Matthew Heineman’s Retrograde. It has played some festivals and should hit theaters and National Geographic before the end of the year.
I reviewed for PopMatters:
Retrograde opens with an eerie pan across distant mountains while American presidents make disembodied pronouncements over 20 years: from George W. Bush’s declaration of the invasion to Donald Trump’s threat that “our commitment is not unlimited” and Joe Biden’s insistence that he would “not repeat the mistakes” of the past. From there, Heineman tracks the end stages of Operation Enduring Freedom (a name ever destined for blackly comedic usage), zeroing in on a dusty outpost in Helmand province…
Here’s the trailer: