Oscar Inspirations: American Sniper honors soldiers, not war

81st Academy Awards® Press Kit ImagesBy: Josie Speltz

With 160 confirmed kills, he was named the deadliest operative in U.S. Navy history. After serving four tours in the Iraq War, Navy SEALS Special Forces Sharpshooter Chris Kyle was rewarded with approval for his acts of heroism. Receiving two Silver Star Medals, five Bronze Star Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, as well as two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Kyle was then honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy and wrote the bestselling book, American Sniper.

This book was later made into the film directed by Clint Eastwood, which recollects the events that Kyle witnessed as well as the hardships of what he did over his four tours in Iraq. It also touched base on the battles he faced once returning home, trying to reintegrate into a normal life.

The film has shattered past records with its $90.2 million debut weekend release, earning its spot as the top movie of the year, so far. Sniper has also received nominations for Best Picture and well as Best Actor for the upcoming 2015 Oscars.

This film has been given many great reviews, such as a review by Fox News that said, “While the majority of recent war films focus on the horrors of war, Sniper shifts the focus to honor the brave men and women who sacrifice everything – including their families – to protect each other. A must-see!”

Although this review is one look at all of the positive things that have been said in regards to Sniper, it has also caused much controversy over the issue of praising the killing made by Kyle. Film maker Michael Moore made a tweet about Sniper saying, “My uncle was killed by a sniper in WWII. We were taught snipers were cowards, they will shoot you in the back. Snipers aren’t heros, and invaders are worse.”

His tweet shows an opposing view to the movie, thinking that Kyle should not be thought of as a hero. However, Moore has since gotten much animosity about his words and has taken back his posting, saying that he was unable to get his full message across in the few characters allowed in a tweet. He also stated that he actually enjoyed the movie.

A considerable amount of CFHS students that have seen Sniper possess views that tend to side further on Kyle being a hero, and consider the movie to be right for praising his actions of protecting his fellow soldiers in the hardships of war and risking his life for our country. Senior Ben Mord has both read the book and seen the movie, and in regards to the overall aspect of Sniper said,  “I think that they dramatized a lot of what happened in the book, but it made it a good movie. I also think that Chris Kyle’s is a hero, and don’t see his actions as being bad.”

Senior Richard Stevenson also had good things to say regarding whether the killings in the movie were accurate. “I think that it was portrayed in an acceptable way. They viewed him as doing it for a good cause and not just killing people just to kill people.”

The real issue, however, starts to brew when people do not fully understand the point of the movie. Some are making remarks in reference to how everyone of a certain religion is a terrorist, not getting the full point as to the reason behind Kyle’s actions being a sniper, which was solely to protect the Marine troops from being killed, to save American lives, not to kill as many terrorists as possible.

Since Sniper shows the events that just take place to Kyle and everything that he had to go through when on tour, this movie seems to be more pro-soldier, referring to how we should be grateful for those who risk their lives for the freedom and comfort of America. It does not seem to be pro-war, which implies what caused the controversy.

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