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Review: Hell and Back Again

The real-life story of a young marine
By GERALD PEARY  |  January 5, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Hell and Back Again offers a potent documentary correlative to the narrative of The Hurt Locker.
It's the real-life story of a young marine, Sergeant Nathan Harris, who is brilliant and an inspiring leader in battle but lost and dazed on the home front, North Carolina, where he's sent to recuperate after being wounded and crippled from a Taliban machine gun. His wife Ashley stands by trying to be a stoic as Harris pushes through each day, angry, impatient, self-hating, melodramatically playing with loaded guns. But Harris is a charmer also, and he opens himself up completely to the camera of filmmaker Danfung Dennis. Why the dude-to-dude trust? Because Dennis was with him in Afghanistan, embedded with Harris's Echo Company.

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