“American Sniper” puts the impact of war into perspective

As I get on the bus to go to school, there is a war going on in Syria. While I am eating my lunch, there is a war going on in Afghanistan. When I am laying on my couch watching TV, there is a war going on in Nigeria. Currently, there are over ten wars and major armed conflicts going on in the world today. As we go through our day-to-day lives oblivious to this reality, millions in the world are suffering from the effects of living in war zones.

“American Sniper” is a movie based on the true story of United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. With 160 confirmed kills, and probably more, he is the most lethal sniper in U.S military history. With one finger on the trigger, he decides who lives and who dies in war. He props himself on rooftops, keeping a lookout for any potential threats to US troops. If there is one person coming towards them with a weapon like a grenade or AK-47, they are shot. With one life gone, he saves what could have been dozens of US soldiers lives.

The movie is projected through Kyle’s perspective and those around him. The war in Iraq is a gray area, and everyone has their own personal opinion on whether it was right or wrong. But the movie never fully addresses this question.

Personally, I found that “American Sniper” was not about the purpose of fighting, but more on how the war affected soldiers during and afterwards. While many people argued that it was “propaganda” or a “pro-war” movie, I do not agree. The film tells a story through the perspective of a soldier, granting a more emotional grasp on the effects of war on those involved and draws awareness to the personal experiences of veterans and their families.

In the film, Chris Kyle comes back from his tour in Iraq and mentions how no one in America is talking about the war. This scene showed the contrast of the two vastly different worlds. Americans are fighting the war, but most Americans are neither aware nor engaged. While Americans go about their daily lives, civilians in the war zones are suffering and living in constant fear.

A scene from the movie showing a mother and her child holding a grenade
A scene from the movie showing a mother and her child holding a grenade.

The extremities of war may be too abstract to wrap our heads around because we’re not exposed to them. The scenes in “American Sniper” help the audience to become more aware of the conditions soldiers and civilians in war zones endure, allowing viewers to appreciate just how intense and devastating war is for everyone involved.

One third of the world’s population lives in ‘conflict-affected low-income countries’. One third of the people living on earth are dealing with the ramifications of war, yet it is rarely thought about or discussed among many of us living in non-conflict countries.

“American Sniper” is a must-see thought provoking film that discloses the impact of war to the public. Bradley Cooper is able to let the audience feel the detachment of the damaged hero. After seeing this film, I was able to empathize with soldiers in a way that I never was able to before.

Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle in this thriller
Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle.

All in all, I give “American Sniper” a rating of 8.5/10

Author: Jamila Adams

Jamila Adams is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Eye and part of the Morning Show crew. This is her second year as a reporter for The Eye and the Morning Show’s production staff. She is a senior this year and has been at SAS since she was in Pre-Kindergarten. Some of her hobbies include taking bubble baths, spooning her dog and eating truffle fries. She can be contacted at adams17587@sas.edu.sg

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