In 2009, filmmaker Danfung Dennis was embedded with U.S. Marines "Echo Company" as the marines launched a major offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Danfung worked closely with Sergeant Nathan Harris, one of the Marines leading the charge. When Danfung returned to U.S. a few months later, he discovered that Sergeant. Harris had been gravely injured, just two weeks before his battalion was scheduled to return home. The story of Sergeant Harris’s recovery is now the focus of Danfung Dennis’s newest documentary, "Hell and Back Again."
The photo of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima has long been an emblem of U.S. efforts in World War II; photos from My Lai still represent the Vietnam war for many. After eight years, however, there is still no single image that has defined the Afghan war. A new PBS/Frontline documentary, "Obama's War," contains footage and images of the war that hasn't been seen on American television screens until now.
The film begins with the death of a U.S. marine, Lance Corporal Seth Sharp, who is cut down by Taliban fire during a battle in Helmand province last summer. We speak with Seth's father, Ric Sharp, and Danfung Dennis, the photojournalist who captured the footage, about the power of images in the Afghan war. Martin Smith, co-director of "Obama's War," also joins us.