Danfung Dennis, who previously released a Canon EOS 5D Mark II video on the Afghan war that was highlighted on the TV show Frontline (see this post), is now working on a documentary called “Battle for Hearts and Minds” and has produced an amazing trailer.
On July 2nd, 2009, 4000 US Marines of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade launched a major helicopter assault into an insurgent stronghold in the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan to break a military stalemate that had been reached with the Taliban.
Independent filmmaker Danfung Dennis was embedded with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Company, as they were dropped 18km behind enemy lines to seize a key bridge. Within a few hours of landing, fierce fighting erupted and continued for the next three days, in which Lance Corporal Charles Sharp, from Adairsville, Georgia was was shot in the neck and died of his injuries.
After the initial fighting, the Marines search for the insurgents that killed Lance Corporal Sharp. Frustration sets in as the Marines try to fight a ghost like enemy and IED’s cut them off from resupply. The Marines objective is to secure and protect the population, but the Afghan villagers complain that the fighting has driven them into desert, bombing has destroyed their homes, and intrusive raids disrespect their culture. Trying to balance their roles between warriors and statesmen, the Marines struggle to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.
The footage was shot on a custom built rig, using a Canon 5D Mark II, 24-70 f/2.8 L lens, Sennheiser ME-66 and G2 wireless system, Singh-Ray variable ND filter, and Beachtek 2XAs mounted on a Glidecam 2000 HD with custom made aluminum ‘wings.’
Music licensed through Universal Music.
(Photo credit: snap from the video trailer by Danfung Dennis)