‘American Sniper’ Plays in Baghdad, but the Reaction by Iraqi Moviegoers is SURPRISING
From Greg Campbell, TPNN
The hit biopic “American Sniper” details the life of Chris Kyle, the famed Navy SEAL who is credited as the deadliest sniper in American military history.
The movie has dominated the box offices and headlines as the film portrays the good and bad of Kyle’s life, including detailed scenes of combat in Iraq.
While some on the left have pretended that merely showing scenes of the war is, somehow, akin to glorifying war, many enjoy the movie for its brisk narrative and compelling acting.
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But how do Iraqis enjoy the movie? The film shows Chris Kyle shooting Iraqi insurgents, so one might believe that Iraqis would view the film with disgust.
Instead, however, a recent report details how Iraqi moviegoers have even yelled enthusiastically at the screen, begging the sniper to “not ask for permission” before killing Iraqi insurgents.
The Global Post reports:
When Gaith Mohammed, a young man in his twenties with a degree in accounting, went to see “American Sniper” during its opening week at Baghdad’s Mansour Mall, he says the theater was full and rowdy.
“Some people watching were just concentrating, but others were screaming ‘F*ck, shoot him! He has an IED, don’t wait for permission!!’” Mohammed laughed, recounting the film’s many tense scenes when US Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, radios in for authorization to take out a potential threat in his crosshairs.
The film, set during the US-led occupation of Iraq and released on Christmas Day, hit nerves in the United States immediately. Some critics and commentators lauded it as patriotic and unflinching; others dismissed it as reductionist and racist. …
Mohammed, who lived through the events in Baghdad the film depicts, admits that scenes where women and children were killed were hard for him to watch. But all in all he liked the movie.
“I love watching war movies because especially now they give me the strength to face ISIS,” he said, using one of the acronyms for the Islamic State. When asked if he thought the movie was racist or anti-Arab — a charge made by some critics in the West — he replied, “No, why? The sniper was killing terrorists, the only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn’t know anything about the Quran!”
However, some moviegoers reacted as one might expect:
But not all Iraqis were cheering on “Chief” Kyle’s kills. Wael, a government ministry employee in his thirties, says the film was too violent. He’s happy it’s no longer being shown in some Baghdad theaters.
“To some extent, I considered it against all Muslims,” he said. He also referred to the opening scene in Fallujah where a woman and child are killed.
“The sniper, he has a chance to hit the child and his mother in their foot or anywhere without killing them, but he didn’t because he’s bloodthirsty like all the American troops.”
Wael, who asked to only be referred to by his first name because he fears for his security, says he still watched the movie three times: twice at the cinema and again at his friend’s house.
What Wael demonstrates is a ridiculous standard that Americans, and no other nation, are expected to uphold; that when an Iraqi insurgent tries to blow-up Marines with an IED, we are supposed to merely wound the fanatical bombers with a shot to the foot. Get real.