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 at 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.

The doc has been nominated for a slew of prizes and just won the IDA Emerging Filmmaker Award. The 2012 Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 24th, the same date of HELL’s scheduled DVD release. It’s also, as of this moment, a 100% ripe tomato.

US forces are scheduled to be out of Afganistan by 2014, but with about 100,000 still in country, and many others injured and recovering back home, the issues HELL AND BACK AGAIN confront us with will probably be doc fodder for years to come.