Sundance Film Festival follow up: HELL AND BACK AGAIN

Article: Sundance Film Festival follow up: HELL AND BACK AGAIN

Well, the Oscars got something right. Though they overlooked Sundance 2011’s other top doc HOW TO DIE IN OREGON, HELL AND BACK AGAIN is on this year’s shortlist.

Director Danfung Dennis documents the story of 25-year-old Nathan Harris, a Marine Corps sergeant who was severely injured in Afghanistan. The film follows his recovery and transition back to life back home in North Carolina. Cut jarringly with Dennis’s own footage from behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, HELL delivers a violent jolt back home. This winner of Sundance’s World Cinema Jury Prize and World Cinema Cinematography Award is still in theaters, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go now.

Sundance Film Festival follow up: RESTREPO

Article: Sundance Film Festival follow up: RESTREPO

The Korengal Valley is one of the most dangerous areas in Afghanistan, so dangerous, in fact, that it’s known amongst soldiers as “the deadliest place on Earth.” It’s also the setting of RESTREPO, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger’s Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary on the Second US Platoon that was stationed there for 14-months between May…

Sundance Film Festival Follow Up: THE TILLMAN STORY

Article: Sundance Film Festival Follow Up: THE TILLMAN STORY

After football star Pat Tillman was killed while serving in Afghanistan, he was dubbed a national hero was was posthumously bestowed with all the honors befitting that title. His family was informed that he died while charging the enemy in an insurgent attack, effectively saving the lives of the men in his unit. But it…

Bob Woodward's Book "Obama's Wars"

Article: Bob Woodward's Book "Obama's Wars"

On Monday 9/27, Bob Woodward’s latest book Obama’s Wars (Simon & Schuster) will hit bookstores.  Woodward (played by Robert Redford in the film ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN) spent 18 months interviewing members of the administration (including President Obama) and poring over internal memos and classified documents to create a behind the scenes account chronicling infighting…

RESTREPO, how’s this for an opening salvo?

Article: RESTREPO, how’s this for an opening salvo?

Still from RESTREPO.

How’s this for an opening salvo? RESTREPO, the first documentary to screen at Sundance 2010, kicks off with a grunt’s-eye view of being caught in a roadside-bomb explosion, and only gets more intense from there. In 2007 and 2008, journalist Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington made 10 trips to Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, a six-mile corridor near the Pakistan border, at the time the focal point of the fighting between U.S. forces and the Taliban. A raw, often harrowing piece of frontline reportage, the film uses post-facto interviews with the soldiers to orient the viewers, but mostly, it opts for disorientation — for the surreal ground-level experience of combat, alternating between restless downtime and confusing firefights.

In The Loop – Lost in translation

Article: In The Loop – Lost in translation

I have no doubt that the days before the US declared war on Afghanistan in 2001 were hectic and that accusations and insults were flung about prolifically amongst various government offices. Such is the setting of the political farce IN THE LOOP, which plays out during the final, clamorous days of a war-free United States – from the British perspective. Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) is a bumbling British Secretary of something-or-other who inadvertently gets involved in the war planning after a gaffe during an interview and spends the rest of the film trying to stay afloat amidst a sea of war-hungry American politicians.