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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Nathan Harris
Ashley Harris.
Directors
Danfung Dennis.
Screenwriters
Running Time
88 minutes

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Hell And Back Again
Blistering Afghanistan war doc


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Plot
Embedded with the men of the US Marine's Echo Company in Helmand Province, photojournalist-turned-filmmaker Danfung Dennis is on hand to record the bitter aftermath of a Taliban attack.


Review
Cannily cross-cutting between the tour of duty that led to Marine sergeant Nathan Harris being wounded and his agonising rehabilitation, this is a judicious insight into the sacrifices and suffering involved in ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban. Embedded photojournalist Danfung Dennis’ combat footage is as remarkable as anything in Restrepo or Armadillo, with his focus on the fear of the locals caught up in the combat being particularly sharp. His chillingly ironic juxtaposition of scenes of domesticity in Helmand and North Carolina is equally acute. But it’s the struggle endured by Harris and wife Ashley to return to a semblance of normality that proves most revealing, as strangers and comrades alike commend the 25-year-old for his courage without fully appreciating the consequent physical and psychological traumas. Authentic, harrowing, momentous.


Verdict
A tough but deeply rewarding watch. Search it out.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

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