The message that comes through the images isn’t a linear communication of the progression of gradual renewed stability and restoration of the character of the city and its people. Instead, what is conveyed is a subtle thread of a people so spirited and unique that even America’s most destructive modern natural disaster could not break them.
The footage in Fixer is often jarring, both physically and psychologically, but it gets a stark message across: Afghanistan is not the “good war”—something Parenti has no qualms about expressing.
There are many surprising elements to Junger’s book, but one of the greatest is the gritty, tangible way he depicts the soldiers. He captures their eccentricities, strengths, and weaknesses as human beings as no other account of war in Afghanistan has done.
Most of the photographs in the book are simple in composition, but very rich and complex in their subject matter.