Aired Monday May 28th, 2012 at 9:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Hell and Back Again
What does it mean to lead men in war? What does it mean to come home - injured, physically and psychologically and build a new life? The Academy Award-nominated film, Hell and Back Again intercuts two overlapping narratives - the life of a marine at war on the front and the life of the same marine in recovery at home. The film is a strikingly realistic depiction of how marines experience this war.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris, 25, leads his unit to fight a ghost-like enemy in Afghanistan. Wounded in battle, Harris returns to North Carolina and his devoted wife to fight pain, addiction and the terrifying normalicy of life at home.
The documentary will air Monday May 28, 9 p.m. on KUED.
In 2009, U.S. Marines launched a major helicopter assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. Within hours of being dropped deep behind enemy lines, 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris’s unit (US Marines Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment) is attacked from all sides. Cut off and surrounded, the Marines fight a ghostlike enemy and experience immense hostility from displaced villagers caught in the middle.
Embedded in Echo Company during the assault, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis captures the frontline action with visceral immediacy. When Sergeant Harris returns home to North Carolina after a life-threatening injury in battle, the film evolves from a war exposé to the story of one man’s personal apocalypse. With the love and support of his wife, Ashley, Harris struggles to overcome the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life.
In immense physical pain, Sergeant Harris grows addicted to his medication. His agony deepens as he attempts to reconcile the gulf between his experience of war and the terrifying normalcy of life at home. The two realities seamlessly intertwine to communicate both the extraordinary drama of war and, for a generation of soldiers, the no less shocking experience of returning home.
An unprecedented exploration of the moving image and a film of uncommon intimacy, Hell and Back Again comes full circle as it lays bare the true cost of war.
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