Hot Docs: Hell and Back Again

So last night we attended the Canadian International Documentary Festival aka “hotdocs” at the TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto, and let me say that the film I chose was the smartest decision I’ve probably made all year.

We watched ‘Hell and Back Again’ Directed by Danfung Dennis and its basically about the war in Afghanistan and the troubles the soldier’s face when they return home. I loved it from the first opening shot, right off the bat I turned to my friend and said this doesn’t even look like a documentary…it’s like a movie. The picture quality was amazing…considering the footage was taken in the middle of the desert in scorching hot temperatures in Afghanistan. Not only the picture quality, but the sound mixing was perfect it really pulled you into the storyline which was mostly about one Sergeant who was shot in the hip prior to finishing his tour. The film goes back and forth from his dealing with his injury at home in Carolina to fighting with his squad in Afghanistan. (editing was beautiful)

In the end when Danfung came out for the Q&A he basically said that he was a photographer prior to shooting video. And it all made sense because his shots were perfectly framed, he shot a beautiful image in probably one of the hardest environments to shoot in. He was basically his own Director of Photography. Throughout the entire movie we wondered how he managed to get some shots, especially when we found out he was working by himself-with one camera! Honestly…I was blown away and as a Film student it takes a lot to impress me. The film was 88minutes long it honestly felt like 20minutes because I was so enraptured in the film, and so so impressed.

I just received a tweet from @hellnbackagain the film will be released in theatres October 2011…so everyone needs to go and check it out!

Last but not least I want to thank my teacher for getting me the hotdocs passes…without him I probably wouldn’t of had the time to go downtown for hotdocs and seen such an amazing film, so I truly thank him for this experience as well.

Follow the Director on twitter @Danfung for more updates of the film and @hellnbackagain

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