Sebastian Junger & Nick Quested – Hell On Earth

Sebastian Junger is a New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfect Storm Fire, A Death in Belmont, War and Tribe. As an award-winning journalist he has covered major international news stories around the world, and has received both a National Magazine Award and a Peabody Award. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film Restrepo, a feature-length documentary, was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

He was reporting on Afghanistan back in 2000, profiling Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was assassinated just days before 9/11. This lead to the National Geographic documentary “Into the Forbidden Zone,” and introduced America to the Afghan resistance fighting the Taliban.

Nick Quested is the Executive Director and owner of Goldcrest Films.
He has built one of the premiere documentary brands in the world, winning two Emmys and getting an Oscar nomination for his work.

Nick also served as a producer on Sebastian Junger’s The Last Patrol and over 35 films including Korengal, the PGA and twice Emmy nominated Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, and the Oscar nominated Restrepo (collaborated with Sebastian Junger)

Nick is an award winning director with over 100 music videos and commercials to his credit with world renowned artists such as Common, Dr. Dre, Nas, Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, P. Diddy and many more.

Nick and Junger joined alliances again to create the powerful project Hell On Earth. It got released in April 2017 on the National Geographic Channel , the documentary film looks into the severe conflicts happening in Syria and Iraq.

00:00 Trailer.
01:53 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:17 Brian’s introduction.
05:07 What prompted the making of The Perfect Storm.
07:49 Why groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda materialise from conflicts in some countries and not others.
10:39 It all looks like senseless violence as the wider public cannot understand the various factions.
12:33 How Nick made the documentary despite not being allowed into Syria.
17:14 The core values of journalism they each adhere to when making documentaries.
18:54 Assad is the devil incarnate, but probably safe because of interests of the other Arab Nations.
22:59 Historically nations have perpetrated public violence to exert control over the population.
27:55 The likely outcome of all the violence and turmoil.
30:37 The outlook for the refugee crisis.
33.49 We are at our best when in small groups facing the adversary.
36:21 As horrible as war is, it also brings out some enormously and admirable qualities of people.
36:04 Nick speaks of his long-term collaboration with Sebastian.
40:50 America’s involvement in the Middle Eastern conflict.
42:59 The reaction to the film and what people are taking from it.
45:01 How Sebastian dealt with the death of his colleague Tim Hetherington.
48:04 What it is like to be a journalist in the field.
50:50 Their advice to budding documentary makers.
52:03 The economics of making a documentary.
54:29 Explanation of what is meant by proxy war.
56:12 America’s interest in Syria now.
57:13 Would they consider making a documentary on North Korea or Hezbollah?
58:52 Dealing with hate mail.
1:00:12 Sebastian’s and Nick’s advice to their 20-year-old selves.
1:01:12 Their best film making advice.
1:02:05 What about this world keeps them awake at night.
1:04:21 How to see the documentary film.
1:04:57 Brian’s summing up.

Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested links:
Sebastian Junger website
Sebastian Junger TedTalk
Sebastian Junger on Facebook
Sebastian Junger on Wikipedia
Nick Quested IMDb biography
Nick Quested on Facebook

The Perfect Storm
A Death in Belmont

Hell on Earth
Hell on Earth on Facebook
Restrepo (film)
Korengal (documentary)

Topics discussed:
Arab Spring
Iraq War
Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party – Syrian Region
Egyptian revolution of 2011
Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)
Republican Guard (Iraq)

People mentioned in this episode:
Tim Hetherington
President Bashar al-Assad
President Hassan Rouhani
Mark Monroe
George Orwell

Leave a Reply

12 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
Dominic Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dominic Jones

Short and interesting interview. Thank you for sharing.


the west on record armed funded ISIS (in their proxy war )against Assad for their elitist western agenda , Hilary Clinton sold saran gas and stinger missiles in the middle east , 7 countries in 5 years years general Wesley Clark look it up , project for the new American century , look into that , these media speakers dont speak the bigger picture truth at all of the global agenda to which western elites are the catalyst in all these conflicts


This was awesome….thanks LR

I’m glad these guys at least said invasion of Iraq was a mistake.. otherwise the’re usual american-imperialism apologisits.. in a few years time they might admit that overthrows in Syria and Libya were a mistakes, too. Calling Assad a devil incarnate? seriously? Libya was a rich country, even when it was corrupt, was that worse than what it is now? the same analogy goes for all countries where western world stick it’s nose into. None of these oppressed countries are doing better after overthrow of their regimes.. other thing.. do you want to stigmatize some country? label it as regime… Read more »


Thank you for a fantastic interview!

Interesting in the first part of this interview they don’t mention western powers influence in all these situations.

Jez Brunatny

Great story lets hope you all will get smarter or mickey mouse will be back peace just wait:) They have guns and xxx have spray viruses

Jez Brunatny

This is interesting because nobody really knows what the fuck is happening thx:)

Carolyn Williams

Thank you Brian, like you, I have understood far more by listening to your interview with two incredibly different film makers. The soul destroying destruction of the daily bombardment on Aleppo for me has been incomprehensible. Carolyn

Noranne Duffy

fight corruption, world banksters ! We know that all war is economics and the western regime is equally pushing it. It stinks its barbaric and will the history books record this truthfully?


Great interview, If you like to learn what is happening in Syria you also have to do an interview with Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett.
They have been inside Syria and give another story of the conflict. Both are brave women…


If the discussion/interview does not start with the CIA, Clinton Foundation, Saudi connection then I call BS and I stop listening. Complete waste of time. The demonstrations were started and orchestrated by the CIA to start the so called civil war!!!