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Talk:American Sniper

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Are we doing "Inaccurate hollywood movies" now? What does this page really add to the internet? It's a bad plot outline followed by some criticism lifted from a Vox and Salon article... I think Vox and Salon do a better job at being Vox and Salon. Carpetsmoker (talk) 07:58, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Same reason why we are doing "Obama's America" and other factually incorrect political Hollywood movies. This article actually isn't done: the Vox and Salon criticisms outline some of those political factual inaccuracies. Metamorphosis (talk) 07:26, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Obama's America is a "documentary." I really don't see why we should start reviewing political films that are essentially fiction, with actors. Zero Dark 30 sucks and is CIA propaganda supposedly based on facts, but I'm not going to start an article about it here. I really think we should AfD this one.---Mona- (talk) 20:01, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't know anything about this movie, but this article is awful. The Vox & Salon pieces suggest it may be missional to cover (or at least mention somewhere) but not like this. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:14, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
It could go in any number of articles, including ones on the Iraq war or wingnut militarism. Really, an article on Chris Kyle himself and his cult following on the right would be more missional and he's the (highly sanitized) subject of the film. So, the film could also be included there. Conservapedia has a Kyle entry that mentions the movie. Their article is surprisingly short given that Kyle is worshiped by the militaristic right---Mona- (talk) 22:25, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Compilation of reasons for deletion of this article:
  • I don't know anything about the movie, but the article sucks. (And yet no one is helping me...)
  • This movie is fiction.
  • "Zero Dark 30 sucks and is CIA propaganda..."
  • Chris Kyle is the real deal.
— Unsigned, by: Evolution and Metamorphosis / talk / contribs

American Sniper isn't pro-war propaganda[edit]

I agree that there are inaccuracies between the movie and the book, but to call this film a propaganda piece is invalid. Clint Eastwood never intended this film to be pro-war propaganda; in fact it's the opposite. This film has been grossly misinterpreted by some as being such by both the left and right, however when you look at the film as a whole, one begins to understand that this cannot be. Eastwood himself has made this clear in interviews regarding the film and his anti-war position. “I think it’s nice for veterans, because it shows what they go through, and that life—and the wives and families of veterans. It has a great indication of the stresses they are under,” Eastwood told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I think that all adds up to kind of an anti-war [message].” Jason Hall, screenwriter for the film has also given a similar statement: “People see the movie poster, and it’s got a guy and the American flag, and they know Clint Eastwood — the Dirty Harry guy and the Republican convention guy — directed it, so they think it’s some jingoistic thing. I would challenge that in a big way. Chris was a man who believed in something and who therefore was useful to a government that needed him to go to war. It cost him his physical health, his mental health and almost cost him his family — but Chris probably would have paid the price over and over again if he’d been asked, which is both patriotic and totally tragic.” Also the film does not side with a political position, but rather to create a character study.

The portrayal of the war as a black and white fight for good and evil is somewhat inaccurate. The film's intention was rather to exhibit Chris Kyle's singular black and white perspective between who he was fighting for and who he was fighting against. Even though the film is presented through Kyle's perspective, it doesn't make his view more or less valid. There are scenes where his views are challenged both directly and indirectly such as scenes where a broken-up relative reads a letter from a dead Navy Seal questioning the validity of the Iraq War or the heart-breaking glimpse at wounded veterans. There is even a moment when his brother tells him “fuck this place” much to Kyle’s surprise and bafflement. Near the beginning of the film, we see Kyle as a young man being lectured by his father for fighting in school. In the lecture, he explains that there are three kinds of people in the world: “wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs.” This is further explained in the following: "Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn't exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn't know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep. Then you've got predators who use violence to prey on the weak. They're the wolves. And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog." This scene was presented to understand Kyle's perspective as a child still learning and developing in the world. He believed he was the sheepdog and those that fought against him were the wolves. This simplistic black and white way of thinking allowed him to sufficiently perform his duties in combat without question or hesitation as he believed it was his patriotic duty to fight for his country and protect his fellow man.

The film was never meant to promote or validate war, but for the audience to understand what drives people like Kyle to fight in war and the repercussions that are faced because of war. Aurelius2015 02:54, 15 December 2015 (EST)


I appreciate your research. I already knew this and was actually going to put Clint Eastwood's anti-war views in the article. But even so the film is propaganda in the sense that the film equates Iraqis to Al-Qaeda, and falsely links the attacks of 9/11 with any Middle Eastern War.
Also, no offense, but your explanation of Chris Kyle's mentality (in fact coming directly from Clint Eastwood) doesn't explain why the film portrays the Iraqis so overly negatively. I remember seeing only one Iraq family helpless in the whole film, while the rest were undercover members of Al-Qaeda. Evolution and Metamorphosis (talk) 05:44, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Oh the humanity[edit]

"The rhetoric here seems to grant Chris Kyle humanity, something that he lacks in real life." How is this anything but a gratuitous personal attack? Moreover, one that doesn't cite a source of any kind? -Yukabacera (talk) 17:26, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

I've removed the offending sentence. And some of the other weirdly judgemental statements. The summary is still awful, though. -Yukabacera (talk) 09:07, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

American Sniper: Modern Propaganda[edit]

I would like to retract my previous statement from what I said about American Sniper not being pro-war, which I wrote a few years back. After doing research on the subject I concluded that American Sniper not only glories war but it also glories the actions of an individual who shouldn't be hailed as a hero. Much like any other historical war film from the past such as John Wayne's The Green Berets and George P. Cosmatos' Rambo: First Blood Part II, American Sniper takes complicated political issues and whittles them down to make a conventional and crowd-pleasing action movie that indirectly glorifies war and creates a rigid dichotomy of good and evil. American Sniper is a purely jingoistic warmongering film whose popularity exposes a sickness in the American psyche in regards to war and hero worship. Ever since Kyle's autobiography American Sniper, in which the film was based on, was released he has often been hailed as both an American hero and a right-wing icon. Kyle is no hero; he was simply another tool for the military industrial complex who relished in the killings of innocent civilians and had no qualms about lying about his actions.

While the movie attempts to humanize Kyle about the horrors of war by having him regret some of his actions, the book never says anything about this. In the book, Kyle has called the enemies he fought in Iraq "savage, despicable, and evil" and wished that he had killed more and bragged about never abiding by the rules of engagement. Kyle stated that he killed any male he perceived as between the ages of 16 to 65, which means he had no qualms about killing innocent civilians. Kyle also took part in the Fallujah killings in 2004 in which he killed an untold number of Iraqi civilians.

In addition to being a bloodthirsty and racist killer, Kyle was a sociopathic liar and fraud. While it was never explored in the movie, in Kyle's autobiography he fabricated a variety of bizarre incidents to sell more copies of his book. For example, Kyle claimed that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he traveled to New Orleans and killed about thirty “looters” from a perch on top of the Superdome and claimed to have shot and killed two individuals who attempted to steal his truck. The fact that he would lie about these incidents in such a callous unrepentant way demonstrated what a twisted sociopath that Kyle truly was. He also claimed that all the proceeds of the book were being donated to veterans charities when in fact only a small portion of that money went to any actual charities while the Kyle family raked in a whopping 3 million dollars. Of course I should also mentioned how he dragged Jesse Ventura's name into the ground by claiming that he punched him in the face for saying something negative about the Seals. In addition to his claims about Ventura, his claims about his acts of charity, and his claims to have shot looters from the roof of the Superdome -- though indicating what a sick individual he was to even suggest it -- would be believable only to someone who had never been at the Superdome or in the vicinity of the dome in New Orleans.

It is bad enough to brag about killing people you actually killed, but even more twisted to brag about killing people whom you didn't. The film of course glosses over these incidents to try and paint a better picture of Kyle. I understand that this wasn't Clint Eastwood's intent, however, since he stated that he wanted to create a morally ambiguous, emotionally complex film that was anti-war. The film, however, does not paint that intention very well and given the kind of person Kyle truly was and the rabid responses from Kyle's right wing fanbase over any criticism of the movie, this film turns a ruthless warmongering killer, liar, and fraud into an American icon. Aurelius2015 1:03, 17 April 2020 (EST)