popMATTERS: Matthew Heineman’s remarkable Retrograde—a National Geographic film showing at some festivals now and hitting theaters and streaming later this year—is one of the most unsettlingly intimate examples of this kind of filmmaking. Ostensibly, it’s a document of the last nine months of the Western-backed Afghanistan government in 2021. The film’s scope ranges from furious combat in the country’s dry opium-producing southwest to the chaotic end in Kabul when tens of thousands of Afghans scrambled to escape from the victorious Taliban. But while Heineman has produced an epic story, he tells it primarily through a small group of people caught up in the storm toss of history. Click here to read more (external link).