BRADLEY COOPER ON FRESH AIR TODAY: “The fact that [the fact that American Sniper is] inciting a discussion that has nothing to do with vets — and it’s more about the Iraq war and what we did not do to indict those who decide to go to the war — every conversation in those terms is moving farther and farther away from what our soldiers go through, and the fact that 22 vets commit suicide each day,” Cooper says. “The amount of people that come home is so much greater because of medical advancement and … we need to take care of them.” MORE
PHAWKER: We love Bradley Cooper, terrific actor, local-boy-makes-good, made us cry during Silver Linings, etc. But he’s either being disingenuous or hasn’t watched his own movie. First of all, barely 15 minutes of the film’s 132-minute running time deals with Chris Kyle’s PTSD, which is miraculously/ludicrously cured in about five minutes by shooting guns in the woods of Texas with Iraq War cripples. The rest of American Sniper is spectacularly-mounted war porn disguised as a 21st Century western. Since its release, it has become the most lucrative war film in cinema history. As a piece of film making, it is easily Clint Eastwood’s high water mark. But great art uses a lie to tell the truth. American Sniper uses a lie to tell more lies — the kind of lies that turn entire generations of men into raw hamburger, and kill women and children by the thousands, with or without cause. Second of all, you can’t divorce the Iraq War from the toxic politics, blatant propaganda and imperial hubris that created it and the dumbass macho know-nothings that fed the beast for eight murderous years with lives, limbs and psyches. That’s like watching human bodies being pushed through a wood chipper and saying ‘Never mind who pushed them into that wood chipper, we gotta do something about all this bloody goo shooting out the other end!’ As Cooper says, 22 Iraq vets commit suicide every day — every day two dozen men gather in the waiting room of despair and shoot themselves in the head. That happened today and will happen tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. American Sniper is not the antidote to that brutal, heartbreaking fact, it is complicit in it, just like the politicians that send young men to die in the desert for a lie — a lie that insisted that Iraq was connected to 9/11, or that it was an existential nuclear threat to the United States, or that we had to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here, take your pick — and the lemmings that line up along the highway in the rain, waving their ragged flags as the caskets pass by in the end.
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