About halfway though last week, I called up my best friend to discuss the season finale of "American Horror Story." It wasn’t long before our conversation turned to other subjects, namely "American Sniper." She brought to my attention the recent Rolling Stones review of "American Sniper," written by Matt Taibbi titled "'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize.” The article calls the hero, Bradley Cooper’s Chris Kyle, an idiot and mocks the film as a “Fairy Tale.”
Taibbi’s article is just one comment in a series of criticism the film has seen. "American Sniper" seems to be one of the most polarizing items dominating the news cycle. On one end of the spectrum is Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) calling the Snipers cowards and Seth Rogen (The Interview) comparing the film to the propaganda film inside of Quentin Tarantino’s "Inglorious Bastards." The other side has Kid Rock and Gary Sinise (Forest Gump) defending the movie and its fans. Liberal commenters have grown angrier as the film grows in popularity. Some say that in combination with the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the film increases Islamophobia. I thought the film to be more akin to "Apocalypse Now" rather than "Rambo." The film may be one-sided, but it is not propaganda.
The debate of whether the intention of "American Sniper" was to glorify the morally ambiguous nature of war or not was put to rest by its director, Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Jersey Boys). Eastwood said during a Producers Guild Award Nominees Breakfast, hosted by "The Hollywood Reporter," that the film is an anti-war statement and showed the effect of war on families. The film doesn’t glorify war. The main character, Kyle is surrounded by death and mental disorders.
All in all, the soldiers put their lives at risk for our right to debate the issue and should be given respect. My best friend’s dad is a veteran; my grandparents were veterans. Nobody truly wins in war, and Eastwood’s film makes that clear.