What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home? Hell and Back Again is a cinematically revolutionary film that asks and answers these questions with a power and ...
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A documentary that unveils the moral tensions that tear at soldiers' psyches through the lens of one highly personal story: Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan ... See full summary »
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home? Hell and Back Again is a cinematically revolutionary film that asks and answers these questions with a power and intimacy no previous film about the conflict in Afghanistan has been able to achieve. It is a masterpiece in the cinema of war. Written by
The title is probably a reference to the classic war film To Hell and Back (1955), which starred Audie Murphy as himself in a dramatic re-telling of his experiences as the most decorated American combat soldier of WWII. This could be regarded as a documentary version of the same concept. See more »
Despite an establishing shot of the exterior of a Walgreens pharmacy, the scene where Nathan's wife purchases his prescriptions is clearly filmed inside a CVS pharmacy, as seen on the cashier's name tag. See more »
If I do everything right, and all my men do everything right, I still can die. So You just have to accept it.
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"Hell and Back Again" chronicles the return of Sgt. Nathan Harris' return home and the result is interesting, disturbing and somewhat lacking. Sgt. Harris, is a Marine and always wanted to be one. He wants to fight (and "kill") and almost thrives upon it with his obsession with guns. However, after taking an injury in the field in one of the most violent areas in Afghanistan, Harris goes through rehabilitation back home to try and get his life back on track. The focus of the movie is almost entirely on Sgt. Harris and that both helps and hurts the film. While this does offer personality towards the subject matter but it is difficult not to watch "Hell and Back Again" and wonder what this would have been like with other people as subjects as well as outside opinions about Harris himself. The film ends up almost lacking as it tries to alternate between life at home and life (sometimes clumsily) in the military with little to no interaction with anyone else but Harris. Outside of flashback sequences, none of the other members within Harris' Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment are given much development in regards to the narrative which is a shame because most of the segments in Afghanistan are by far the most interesting of the documentary. In the end, "Hell and Back Again" attempts to become the Marine Corps equivalent of "Restrepo" in terms of depicting military life and ends up somewhat missing the mark. It's not an awful documentary, it just could have been so much more than what it was.
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