IMDb > Hell and Back Again (2011)
Hell and Back Again
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Hell and Back Again (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Hell and Back Again -- A documentary on soldiers who have returned home from fighting in Afghanistan.
Hell and Back Again -- 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.

In this groundbreaking work of cinema, two overlapping narratives are brilliantly intercut the life of a Marine at war on the front, and the life the same Marine in recovery at home, creating both a dreamlike quality and a strikingly realistic depiction of how Marines experience this war.

Following Sergeant Nathan Harris of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, during a major assault on a Taliban stronghold, and his painful return home after a severe injury, the two stories communicate both the extraordinary drama of war and the no less shocking experience of returning home, as a whole generation of Marines struggle to find an identity in a country that prefers to be indifferent.


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Release Date:
5 October 2011 (USA) See more »
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home? Hell and Back Again is a cinematically... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A great documentary that will bring out different things from different people See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order)
Nathan Harris ... Himself (as Sgt Nathan Harris)
Ashley Harris ... Herself
The Marines of Echo Company ... Themselves
Christian Cabaniss ... Himself (as Lt Col Christian Cabaniss)
Eric Meador ... Himself (as Cot Eric Meador)
Ted Hubbard ... Himself (as Lt Edward Hubbard)
Terry Roberts ... Himself (as Chaplain Terry Roberts)
Doug Webb ... Himself (as SSgt Doug Webb)
Robert Gaines ... Himself (as Lt Cmdr Robert Gaines)
Matthew Swibe ... Himself (as Lt Cmdr Matthew Swibe)
Chris MacDonald ... Himself (as Sgt Chris MacDonald)

Directed by
Danfung Dennis 
Produced by
Diana Barrett .... co-executive producer: Fledging Fund
Thomas Brunner .... executive producer
Dan Cogan .... executive producer
Steven Cohen .... co-executive producer
David Cumming .... co-executive producer
Ian Darling .... co-executive producer
Danfung Dennis .... producer
Abigail Disney .... co-executive producer: Fork Films
Caroleen Feeney .... co-executive producer
Maxyne Franklin .... co-executive producer: BritDoc Foundation
Pierre Hauser .... co-executive producer: Fork Films
Martin Herring .... producer
Patricia Lambrecht .... co-executive producer
Mike Lerner .... producer
Havana Marking .... executive producer
Karol Martesko .... executive producer (as Karol Martesko-Fenster)
Gernot Schaffler .... executive producer
Juliette Timsit .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
J. Ralph 
Cinematography by
Danfung Dennis 
Film Editing by
Fiona Otway 
Production Management
Janet Knipe .... production manager
Art Department
Colin Metcalf Lemon .... art direction: Lemon (as Colin Metcalf)
Colin Metcalf Lemon .... branding: Lemon (as Colin Metcalf)
Sound Department
Danfung Dennis .... additional sound designer
Danfung Dennis .... sound recordist
Arthur Pingrey .... additional sound designer
Arthur Pingrey .... dialogue editor
Arthur Pingrey .... sound editor
Arthur Pingrey .... sound re-recording mixer
J. Ralph .... dialogue editor
J. Ralph .... sound designer
J. Ralph .... sound editor
J. Ralph .... sound re-recording mixer
J. Ralph .... supervising sound editor
Reilly Steele .... sound re-recording mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
James Andrews .... additional footage (as LCpl James Abdrews)
Todd Crawford .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Stewart Griffin .... colorist
Ben Laffin .... digital intermediate editor
Jenny Raskin .... editorial consultant
Jonathan Liebert .... digital cinema mastering (uncredited)
Caitlin Tartaro .... digital intermediate producer (uncredited)
Music Department
Brian Binsack .... second scoring engineer
Bub Jess .... score producer: The Rumor Mill (as Bubb Jess)
Gary Morris .... second scoring engineer
Arthur Pingrey .... music editor
Guy Rabinowitz .... second scoring engineer
J. Ralph .... music designer
Other crew
Rodney Brooks .... accountant
Michael Donaldson .... clearance counsel
Georgie Duncan .... production coordinator
Mohamad Ismail .... translator
Ahmad Fahin Nooristani .... translator
Dana O'Keefe .... sales agent
Karinah Turner .... production coordinator
Dennis J. Burrow .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Dennis J. Burrow)
Jordan Chrobot .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Jordan Chrobot)
Leopold F. Damas .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Leopold F. Damas)
Bruce E. Ferrell .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Bruce E. Ferrell)
David R. Hall .... in remembrance of (as LCpl David R. Hall)
Jeremy S. Lasher .... in remembrance of (as Cpl Jeremy S. Lasher)
Xhacob Latorre .... in remembrance of (as Cpl Xhacob Latorre)
Amir Muihammad .... in remembrance of (as Ana Amir Muhammad)
Javier Olvera .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Javier Olvera)
Gregory A. Posey .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Gregory A. Posey)
Patrick W. Schimmel .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Patrick W. Schimmel)
Charles S. Sharp .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Charles S. Sharp)
James Allen Smith .... thanks
Reilly Steele .... thanks
Jonathan F. Stroud .... in remembrance of (as LCpl Jonathan F. Stroud)
Donald W. Vincent .... in remembrance of (as Pfc Donald W. Vincent)
Nicholas G. Xiarhos .... in remembrance of (as Cpl Nicholas G. Xiarhos)

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Hell And BackSee more »


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20 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
A great documentary that will bring out different things from different people, 22 April 2011
Author: akeason1 from United States

Many documentaries have some sort of bias, whether it be "pro" or "anti" something or other. "To Hell and Back Again" is different in that it will probably expose one's opinions without really having one itself. The documentary follows the life of Sgt Nathan Harris and his wife Ashley who live in a small town in North Carolina. Nathan is a marine who, on his third tour of duty, is wounded in his leg and has to go through extensive and painful therapy. Danfung Dennis cuts between these images and those he took earlier of Nathan leading his platoon in an intense tour in Afghanistan. The contrasts are incredible and help emphasize everything that a marine goes through both abroad and at home. Some images are severe, such as the deaths of an American LCP and an Afghan soldier (both die off screen but you do see their bodies moments after)

The footage of Nathan at home, however, is what may bring out very different responses. He is obviously in extreme pain and has a harder life, yet is still very gung-ho and dreams of a full recovery and return to the front line (which got a gasp of disbelief by some in my theater). He also is very interested in firearms, and there are several shots of him and his pistols which he keeps near his bed and which he trains his wife how to use. She, meanwhile, must deal with the stress of caring for an injured husband while still performing her daily routine. Together, they see people in their community (who are quite positive), the marine doctors (who are hopeful for his recovery), and attend a very sad memorial for recently KIA soldiers at the base.

To anyone who is staunchly pro-military, the footage should be quite uplifting. Nathan is determined to recover (and he does noticeably improve though as of April 2011 is not fully healed) and the support of his community and especially his wife is heartwarming. Those who are not so gung-ho will probably be shocked by the footage. In the Q&A with the director and Ashley after the screening, one woman asked Ashley if she was scared for her life at all (a reference to Nathan's constant gun wielding, which she wasn't). Regardless of your leanings though this is an excellent documentary and should not be missed.

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