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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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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Sometimes the power in the imagery of a film alone tells an ambiguous tale that can be taken in many directions by a viewer. With the plethora of documentaries on the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures pushing you this way or that, it was incredibly refreshing to see one that had its intentions somewhere else. Just present the war and its impacts and let the chips fall where they may.
People made a big deal last year about Restrepo showing the intensity of moments in combat. That film, while great, doesn't even touch what young Danfung Dennis achieves here. The up close intimacy of the war moments took the most brazen courage to compile, but the shots are so beautifully constructed you truly can touch the daring and fear of those moments. I have only felt this before in narrative films like The Hurt Locker.
But the footage of the struggle this troubled soldier endures in his recovery from crippling injuries is equally compelling, frightening and heartbreaking. The sewing together of the two worlds presented has a power all its own.
I really believe this amazing young filmmaker, who really gives his all to the art in this film, deserves recognition. It won the documentary jury prize at Sundance. It now has been shortlisted by the Oscars for nomination consideration. These are so deserved.
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