Monday, 26 January 2015

Think I Will Skip American Sniper

I always go out of my way to avoid war films, with the exception of Full Metal Jacket which was an anti-war war film, so there was never any danger of my backside warming a cinema seat to watch American Sniper so i have managed to avoid the hype surrounding it until Michael Moore piped up with his 'snipers are cowards' comment.
I don't have much time for those sniping from roof tops, firing missiles from a ship 20 miles off the coast, dropping bombs from 35,000 feet up or controlling a drone from halfway around the world and my sympathies lie with the innocent people caught up in the willy waving of the leaders of the countries at war.
So not that i would have gone and seen it anyway, but i did start to read about the soldier whose story the film is based on, Chris Kyle.
I got a few paragraphs in and learnt that he was obsessed with guns from an early age, was deeply religious and believed that he was in Iraq doing Gods work and turned the page.
I'm not interested but as it has set a new record for films that open in January, seems the gun nuts, those who saw  the Iraq War as 'just', those duped by the rhetoric of the War On Terror and anyone with a bible in the bedside cabinet are enjoying it but it's not for me thanks.


E-Wadda said...

American Sniper is without question an anti-war movie. Most people just don't realize it.

Lucy said...

Have you seen it E-Wadda?

E-Wadda said...

Yes. A lot of people will see any war movie and consider it pro-war, which is the source of confusion about whether American Sniper is pro-war or anti-war. However, if you're thinking at all critically, I don't think you can watch American Sniper and come away thinking either "war is a pretty good idea" or "the Iraq War was a good call." Here's a fairly good review of sorts that kind of explains my thinking as well:

Falling on a bruise said...

The reviews I have read have seemed split between if it was anti or pro war but as you have seen it I will take your word for it that it isn't either. Can you redo the link as keep getting no page found.

E-Wadda said... try that. It's from a pseudo-libertarian blog I read, so take it with salt if you must, but most libertarians are very anti-war. I especially like how he describes it as an anti-war Rorschach test in the sense that the movie allows you to see what you want to see, but there are better or more accurate ways to interpret it (i.e., as anti-war). It's even more obviously anti-war if you've read the book, as I have, which is extremely pro-war. The tone and emphasis of the movie is totally different from the book.

Lucy said...

I do like the Rorschach test line at the end of the review, sums it up nicely as you see what you want to see in it. It is nice to see so many people speaking out against what they see a glamourising war film though.

Keep Life Simple said...


I saw it last night. It is a brutal movie. if that movie glorifies war I cannot imagine what an anti-war movie would look like.

I don't recommend it for folks like you that are well grounded in the horror of war.

seeing men and women and children tortured and killed is hardly glorious.

scenes of friends dying is hardly glorious. seeing those that survive live with horrible physical loss is not glorious.

seeing the crushing emotional impact on the troops, their family including spouse, children, siblings, and parents is hardly glorious.

it is not anti-war in my opinion - it simply shows a glimpse of the horror and anxiety and impact of war - a mere glimpse (not even 1/1000th of what these people went through).

it shows us what the press did not show us - especially after Obama took over. it shows us how almost all Americans supported sending a small part of our nation (brave people) into hell while the rest went about their normal lives worrying about their next golf match or hairdo while griping about crap like wage inequity, treatment of prisoners in Gitmo, and the one tenth of one percent of cops that abuse their power.

living in a small town and working for a company that serves the military I have known a few of the men that were killed and their families, dozens that lost limbs, faces, or suffered deep scarring burns, and a few that are still deployed.

I feel guilt and regret that I did not serve, but not because of lost glory.

I saw americans fighting for their beliefs. I saw "terrorists" fighting for their beliefs.

It was brutal. It was not glorious. It was just a glimpse. It is the reality of human kind. It is not glorious.

Lucy said...

As i said to E-wadda, i haven't seen it and don't intend to, the reviews were enough to tell me it was one to avoid.
Indeed, war is hell but my sympathy doesn't go to the soldiers of either side who signed up to go to warzones, it's the civilians who never signed up for anything but have to live with the hell all the time, not just for a tour and long after the soldiers have moved on elesewhere.