Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary
Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary
Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary provides rare, intimate glimpses of the loss, love and pride felt by Section 60 visitors, underscoring the human toll exacted by the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, while honoring those who sacrificed their lives for their country. Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill capture the sights and sounds of this quiet pocket of Arlington National Cemetery, where families and friends grieve, honor, remember and find comfort and community with others who share profound loss. A reverent snapshot of the ever-expanding Section 60, the film comprises vignettes shot from early morning to sundown.

Mourners ranging from young widows and family members to fiances and fellow soldiers visit Section 60 to try and connect in spiritual and physical ways with the loved ones they've lost. The parents of a Muslim serviceman tell how they moved to the U.S. 25 years earlier to pursue the freedoms for which their son died. A group of mourners mark the anniversary of a soldier's death by playing a patriotic country ballad on a boom box. A father camps out on his son's grave with a quilt, a bottle of bourbon, and one of two "Iraqi freedom cigars" his son had sent from Iraq, with the promise to smoke it on his return. The sister of a fallen soldier calls Section 60 "one of the most honorable places in America."

Granted extraordinary access to the site, Alpert and O'Neill "embedded" themselves into the fabric of daily life in Section 60, capturing landscapes, families, friends and officials. Over the course of four months in 2007, they filmed on a daily basis, earning the trust of families who shared some of their most personal moments.


For more info, visit HBO. Section 60: Arlington National Cemetary is available for purchase here.

Release Date: 


Jon Alpert
Matthew O'Neill
Rebecca Abrahams
David Meneses
Supervising Producer
Jacqueline Glover (HBO)
Executive Producers
Sheila Nevins (HBO)


National Journalism Award, Scripps Howard Foundation
Excellence Award, JVC Tokyo Video Festival
Cine Golden Eagle
Gold Hugo, Best Documentary
Nominee, Primetime Emmy® Award for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam


"From a journalistic standpoint, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may become known as the time and place where documentary film making excelled as a way to tell of the service and sacrifice of U.S. military personnel and their families. If so, special praise will be bestowed on filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill for bringing the wars not just into the living rooms of Americans but into their hearts as well."
Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
"Under documentary kingpin Sheila Nevins, HBO has admirably kept returning to Iraq, trying to force Americans to confront the war and its human pricetag. In that context, 'Section 60' is a fitting coda -- a clarion call to look back, whether in anger, sympathy or merely sorrow."
Brian Lowry, Variety