Jan 20 2015

American Hero or American Psycho? A Debate on Clint Eastwood’s New Film

GUESTS: Jim DeFelice, co-author with Chris Kyle and Scott McEwan of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History; Rania Khalek, independent journalist who has been one of the foremost critics of the film and book, blogging and tweeting about it.

The Academy Awards nominees were announced last week, with a total of 6 nominations going to the Clint Eastwood film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper. The film is based on the autobiography of Chris Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper to have served in the US war in Iraq. Kyle served four tours of duty and was heavily decorated for his service. He is thought to have killed 255 Iraqis alone, with 160 of them confirmed kills. His book American Sniper, was published in 2012 and shot to the top of the best seller lists, remaining on such lists for 37 weeks. In early 2013 Kyle was shot and killed in Texas by another US soldier, who is currently awaiting trial.

The film, American Sniper, broke box office records over the long weekend, raking in more than $100 million – the highest ever for an early January release. It has been highly reviewed, with Vice President Joe Biden apparently being moved to tears after he watched it. Critics have called it “nuanced,” “subtle,” and “human.” But others have denounced the book and the film as glorifying the perspective of an unrepentant mass killer who delighted in massacring Iraqis.

To read more of Rania Khalek’s work at http://raniakhalek.com/.

One response so far

One Response to “American Hero or American Psycho? A Debate on Clint Eastwood’s New Film”

  1. Judith Robinsonon 24 Jan 2015 at 8:55 am

    This is sickening and disgusting how the movie American Sniper has revealed just how the American psyche is – violent on the one hand, and sickeningly sentimental on the other.
    The US should not have been in Iraq THEY SOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE – and being there, why shouldn’t the Iraqi people try to get rid of them.
    They started everything that has gone bad in the Middle East with their stupid policies and hateful Government. Wilfully stupid and violent.
    As somone who lived through the Second World War I can only lament at the grossness of America now.