Neither Heaven Nor Earth Review - AVClub

AVClub: Movies revolving around a mysterious disappearance reliably generate intrigue, whether or not they ultimately prove satisfying as an actual mystery. Sometimes, the film provides an answer to what happened to the missing character(s)—even if, as in The Vanishing, it’s decidedly not the answer (nor the means of revelation) that the long-searching protagonist wants. Other classics, like L’Avventura and Picnic At Hanging Rock, deliberately eschew any sort of resolution, leaving both the nature of events and their meaning open to interpretation. Neither Heaven Nor Earth, the feature debut of French filmmaker Clément Cogitore, falls into the latter category. Set among soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border, this virtually action-free war movie (which premiered at Cannes last year with the English-language title The Wakhan Front) will frustrate anyone seeking concrete explanations. Its haunting atmosphere, however, in conjunction with its half-harrowing, half-sleepy milieu, keeps the film fascinating until it finally fizzles.

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