Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hell and Back Again

"Hell and Back Again" examines the rigors of modern warfare and the variant, but no less psychologically taxing endeavor of coming home. Filmmaker Danfung Dennis follows Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris during a tour of duty in Afghanistan and subsequently as he returns home to his wife in North Carolina following a serious hip injury obtained in combat. Dennis' documentary contains stunningly photographed battle footage and reminded me of another recent, harrowing Afghanistan set war doc entitled "Restrepo." When the setting is changed to the home front, and the film attempts to examine the returning soldier's psyche, it begins to come up a little short as posturing for the camera subverts its intentions and effectiveness.