Cairo - Recently, my friend and I decided to watch a movie in the theatre. With no specific movie in mind, we arrived at the theatre and watched as many people were queuing in front of the box office for "American Sniper."
Cairo – Recently, my friend and I decided to watch a movie in the theatre. With no specific movie in mind, we arrived at the theatre and watched as many people were queuing in front of the box office for “American Sniper.”
My friend had checked the movie’s ratings in the U.S. Box Office and found that it had received a high rating with revenues nearing the $250 million mark, and had received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper (playing Chris Kyle).
Though my friend expressed concern that the film might feature American troops killing Muslims and Arabs, we decided to watch it. He was right to be concerned.
As the movie progressed, we saw scenes of killing Iraqi people (especially in Fallujah and Ramadi), including women and children. The lead character, Chris Kyle, has 160 confirmed kills in real life as the “most lethal American sniper in U.S. military history.” Frankly, we were about to leave — especially after one scene depicting the killing of a woman and child, but the rhythm of movie was so quick that it convinced us to sit and keep watching it to the end.
Though “American Sniper” has caused much anger and debate throughout the world, especially in Arab and Muslim countries, and also among conservatives and liberals in the United States, it deserves a deeper analysis [of every different aspect.
While there are many films on the Iraqi war such as The Hurt Locker, Green one, In the Valley of Elah, and The Tiger and the Snow, American Sniper has attracted the greatest attention from American citizens. It depicts the suffering and psychological effects of war on veterans in American society without taking the Iraqi people into consideration, through covering a one-dimensional side of the course of developments in war in Iraq.
The personal struggle that Kyle endured as a result of what he experienced and did in Iraq is not motivated by any regrets over the people he killed, including women and children, but by his failure to kill more and thus save the lives of his fellow American soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Thus, he reveals his ultra-patriotism. “There were a lot of dynamics in the combat zone, and here at home politically, that were not investigated in the movie,” said Reppenhagen, who served in Iraq as a sniper with the U.S. Army. “It showed a very one-sided view of the conflict.”
Defending “American Sniper,” First Lady Michelle Obama said, ”While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I’ve heard firsthand from military families over these past few years.”
Clint Eastwood, the director of American Sniper, did not focus in the film on any political debate about the war in a country where about two percent of its population are killed or lose legs or hands because of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lead actor Cooper reacted to the critics: “For me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight of a soldier is.”
While attending the Washington, DC, premiere of American Sniper at the Burke Theatre at the U.S. Navy Memorial on Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden offered his review of the film: “It’s intense, man,” adding that veterans still need help and deserve deepest respect.
The film cuts back to Kyle’s childhood, after the beating of Kyle’s brother by a schoolmate. In the scene, Kyle’s father teaches his young sons at Sunday dinner his patriarchal philosophy of human existence: there are sheep who are weak and do not know themselves; there are wolves who prey on the sheep; and there are sheep-dogs who protect the sheep. He tells his sons to be sheep-dogs to protect sheep, thus affecting Kyle’s lifestyle and his way of thinking. At the end he was not shot in battles in Iraq but in the United States by a disgruntled veteran.
The focus of the film solely on the life of the sniper ignores the destruction and killing wreaked after the invasion of Iraq, with human losses and devastation needing decades to remedy. More importantly, praising Kyle as a patriot and ignoring any other effects allows Americans to ignore the fatal consequences of invading a country that had nothing to do with nuclear weapons, 9/11 Attacks, and Al-Qaeda militants.
One Iraqi’s view shows the danger of such a lack of focus or empathy with the plight of the people who were the victims. “To some extent, I considered it against all Muslims,” said Wael, a government ministry employee in Baghdad. “The sniper has a chance to shoot the child and his mother in the foot [during the opening scene] or anywhere without killing them, but he didn’t because he’s bloodthirsty like all the American troops.”
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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