The political debate circling "The Hurt Locker" is intensifying with an Oscar victory in sight. But I'd like to point out -- tooting my own horn -- that I tried to advance this particularly controversy back when the film premiered in 2008. In my blog post "Explosions and Xenophobia" from September 15, 2008, I addressed what I felt was the pure entertainment value of the film, using a superficial depiction of the horrors of battle to essentially give its audience a testosterone-fueled thrill-ride.
In recent weeks, bloggers such as IFC's Vadim Rizov ("How Kathryn Bigelow's non-political movie has gotten politicized") and Chuck Tryon (Reality Effects: Politicizing "The Hurt Locker") have weighed in with more thorough and divergent arguments on the subject. But I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the comments that have come in since I reprised my post in December 14, 2009--particularly those coming from veterans, some of whom hate the film, others who love it.
I suspect military blogs are all over the film, but it's interesting and instructive to see these comments on an indieWIRE blog.
One commenter, who identifies himself as "in the military," writes: "Onboard our ship anyone who was been IA (deployed to the middle east, Individual Augmentee) refuses to watch the movie because its nowhere near what happens there to the point of finding it offensively stupid. Today I saw that it was nominated for best picture and started laughing. I seriously thought this was a borderline B movie when I watched it."
On the other side, another poster, who calls himself "Sgt. Mack," writes: "You’ve never been to Iraq or look like you’ve even touched a gun, but take it from someone who’s been there and done that, when a fucking 15 year old points an AK 47 at your head, then wherever you go, EVERYONE is suspect....Get over your ignorance, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about, and furthermore, who says that a war film can’t be anything BUT a suspenseful thrill ride?"