Hell and Back Again – review

Eyewitness film of military action in Afghanistan combines with the story of a wounded soldier going home, and it pulls no punches

Ten years of military involvement in Afghanistan is a grim anniversary. We have seen two reportage movies about this: Janus Metz Pedersen's Armadillo, about Danish troops, and Restrepo, by Sebastian Junger and the late Tim Hetherington. Here is a third; they might come to be seen as some kind of trilogy. Danfung Dennis, an embedded photojournalist and cameraman, begins with his eyewitness film of the military action and then goes home with 25-year-old Nathan Harris, who has been shot in the hip by the Taliban. Pain-wracked, Harris becomes hooked on his medication and on handling, caressing and generally obsessing about his handgun: all too clearly, he is beginning to imagine using it on himself. This pulls no punches.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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