Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1399310276186-0'); });

"Hell and Back Again" is a Necessary Nonfiction Version of "The Deer Hunter" for Today's Veteran

by Christopher Campbell
October 5, 2011 11:09 AM
7 Comments
  • |

One of the best documentaries of the year opened at NYC's Film Forum today: "Hell and Back Again." Not only is it a perfect follower to cinematic, embedded Afghanistan War films "Restrepo" and "Armadillo," it's arriving in a week in which addressing the war is impossible. I don't have a full review, but here is the bit I wrote in my latest Doc Talk column at Movies.com:

Danfung Dennis’s Sundance-winning Hell and Back Again, another documentary presenting an embedded look at the Afghanistan War that is just as necessary and cinematic as Restrepo but probably won’t do as well, especially if audiences are reminded of this Friday’s ten-year anniversary of the war’s start. Then again, this may be the time to commemorate and honor the troops by supporting an excellent film document, one which also plays like a nonfiction version of The Deer Hunter, brilliantly structuring the story of a Marine’s homecoming so that the war footage functions like flashback sequences.


And here is what I wrote about the film's Oscar chances in my post-Sundance column back when Cinematical was still around:

Other than [Project] 'Nim,' it is actually quite difficult to determine what else might earn a slot in the Documentary Feature category. Maybe Jury Award winner 'Hell and Back Again,' which is another very good doc depicting the war in Afghanistan, but I think it pales a bit compared to this year's nominee (and 2010 Sundance alum) 'Restrepo.'

Finally, though there is some redundancy, here's what I wrote on the film at the Doc Channel Blog:

Rounding out a great group of recent nonfiction films about soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, which includes “Restrepo” and “Armadillo,” this one similarly plays like a narrative drama and is actually structured in a way that warrants comparisons to “The Deer Hunter” (even more than “Where Soldiers Come From”). Directed cinematically by embedded photojournalist Danfung Dennis, the film follows U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris during his tour in southern Afghanistan, including an intense firefight with the Taliban, and his return home to North Carolina. Dennis cuts back and forth, which makes the war footage function like flashbacks.

"Hell and Back Again" opens today in NYC and expands to LA on October 14.

Recommended If You Like: "Restrepo"; "Armadillo"; ""The Deer Hunter"


Follow Spout on Twitter (@Spout) and be a fan on Facebook
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic)

get email updates
  • |

7 Comments

  • castle gate gardening | April 7, 2014 8:37 AMReply

    When you go to a Doctor, and you find that there is a lot of difficulty in the movement, you find that most of them suggest that you take of gardening as a hobby. This is not only to ensure that you can consciously think about taking care of plants, but also ensure that you can actually introduce a lot of movement to your body, and you would not have any sort of consciousness while doing it.

  • Sam Royerson | March 25, 2013 6:55 PMReply

    I am a film critic student and I must say that you made a good comparison between two movies. I'm just worried that there are too many almost the same storyline on the movies that dwell on the lives of soldiers. Other than that, I must say that Hell and Back Again is a good movie to spend your 2 hours with.
    -Sam Royerson, Chiropractor Long Beach

  • writing illusion blog | February 25, 2013 12:00 AMReply

    This was a actually quite very good publish. In theory I'd like to write like this also - getting time and actual effort to make a excellent piece of writing... but what can I say... I procrastinate a lot and by no means appear to obtain anything done.
    writing blog

  • sherlin | January 22, 2013 1:50 AMReply

    I really appreciate spending some time to talk about that, I believe firmly regarding this and so really enjoy understanding more about this kind of subject.Keep up the good work!

    Download Angry Birds Seasons

  • valentine flowers delivery in pakistan | January 11, 2013 2:09 AMReply

    A real informative blog like this is an exceptionally cool helping resource for a needy information seeker like me! Thanks a lot...

  • Herve Leger Dresses | September 12, 2012 9:57 PMReply

    Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this
    Christian Louboutin: http://www.cheapredbottomshoes1965.com/
    NFL Jerseys:http://www.cheapnikenflgamejerseys.com/
    Herve Leger Dresses: http://www.officialherveleger.com/
    herve leger: http://www.officialherveleger.com/news/120.html/
    Red Bottom Shoes:http://www.redbottomshoes1968.com/

  • shopfashionbrand.com | September 1, 2012 4:54 AMReply

    Post is nicely written and it contains many good things for me. I am glad to find your impressive way of writing the post. Now it become easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thanks for sharing the post.
    officialherveleger.com http://www.officialherveleger.com/
    redbottomshoes1967.com http://www.redbottomshoes1967.com/
    shopfashionbrand.com http://www.shopfashionbrand.com/
    cheapredbottomshoes1965.com http://www.cheapredbottomshoes1965.com/

Most "Liked"