Hell and Back Again Reviews
You can feel just how jarring and stressful it must be for a soldier to go from the life-and-death adrenaline rush of war to the maddeningly slow world of rehabilitation and forced inactivity.
Dennis refuses to push a political agenda down viewers' throats. But the message of his film -- a breathlessly paced look at the realities of war -- is clear: War and its aftermath are indeed hell.
Belies the misguided notion that a nonfiction effort on war's aftermath can't be artistically minded, and also can't somehow be as moving as (or even more so than) a scripted dramatic interpretation.
The director has no intention of making a prefab antiwar statement. He simply wants to show us an experience, just as it happened, and let the chips fall where they may.
Dennis, a photojournalist, has produced a verite work of almost distracting beauty-a haunting quality in a film that operates in the apolitical mode of choice for recent combat docs, but is nevertheless inarguably about the cost of war.