Hell and Back Again

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Published on 29th July 2017 by

A feature length 2011 documentary directed by thephotojournalist Danfung Dennis about a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who returned from active duty in Afghanistan with a badly broken leg and PTSD. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012.

Danfung Dennis began working as a war photographer in Afghanistan in 2006 but became frustrated with the limitations of photography and switched to film to present a more honest account of the brutal reality of the war. He was eventually given the opportunity to follow and film U.S. Marines Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment for four weeks in 2009. The unit was taking part in Operation Khanjar which was the largest air operation since the Vietnam War.

On his first day of filming he met Nathan Harris who despite the high temperatures gave Dennis his last bottle of water, and seven months after completing that assignment Dennis decided that Harris would be the focus of his documentary rather than the operations of the regiment as a whole. Harris inviting Dennis to spend a year living with them at their home. Hell and Back Again is the resulting film and it won two awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Documentary Award at the Moscow International Film Festival 2011.

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