“American Sniper” Damns the Country That Produced Chris Kyle

american sniper film review by daniel dewar

Anyone who sees “American Sniper” as token patriotism is either unfamiliar with Eastwood’s other work—work that regularly challenges the role of masculinity and violence buried in the American psyche—or is incapable of reading the images Eastwood has put in front of them.

Eastwood is not interested in the politics of the Iraq occupation because Kyle wasn’t. But he does damn its personal violence and the country that produced it.

The film is shot entirely from Kyle’s perspective and the final act is pure Kyle fantasy.

He blocks out criticism of his country and obvious post-traumatic stress disorder by hiding in a newfound purpose to help fellow veterans. In his mind he is still serving his country, which serves his own sense of martyrdom.

The imagery of Kyle’s funeral reference earlier shots from the film. A dead body carried through the streets of Iraq.