My closest friend who is a veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan and I have been e-mailing about the reactions to American Sniper. I have not yet seen the film, so I cannot react to it, but the reactions themselves are interesting. Clint Eastwood, in an interview last week, reminded people that he has always been anti-war and believes he made an anti-war movie. Clearly not all the people who've seen the film got that.
My veteran friend wrote the other day that one should avoid stating any critical opinion of the movie in public.
Today he forwarded me this article, by another veteran, reflecting on the film and the reactions to it. The title of the essay is "There are no war heroes." A procative enough title. An excerpt:
I'm a U.S. infantry combat veteran of Afghanistan, and I witnessed this phenomenon firsthand. Personally, though, I found the movie to be factually probable, visually and emotionally stimulating, but curiously aimless: like walking in a shallow pool looking for a place to dive and swim, expecting depth and finding none. I found the audience's reaction both inspiring and depressing. On the one hand, Thank god people are finally responding to the horror of war. On the other hand, This is not quite true.
Have you seen the film? What do you think?