American Sniper portrays the feeling of a decent American fighting a hidden enemy he perceives as savage. Kyle sees the world black and white, maybe otherwise he would have not survived. It is ironic that this movie gets hated or loved by people, on both side of the spectrum exactly because the can’t see gray either.

I’ve seen the movie “American Sniper” and I’ve read the book. Politically, I am opposed to the US interventionism, it was a disaster for everybody concerned, and it ended in a fiasco. The book is also no world literature, but it a very honest account.  His wife added from time to time a short, psychologically interesting personal note. I can’t decide, wether Kyle is the prototype of the banality of the evil or of the  banality of the good. The film is therefore a well-made contemporary document. Nothing more, nothing less. But after the film some seem to sense a change.
 Kyle himself despised the Iraqis and their country. I think, deep inside he knows that he is just a mercenary for the powerful in an increasing sick US society. In an interesting flashback scene, his dad claims there are three kinds of people in the world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. The sheepdogs are the ones who protect the sheep from the wolves. The idea becomes a metaphor for who Kyle becomes and the role he wants to play in the US military. Wolves, Sheep and Shepherds – not far from the truth. It’s no irony, but cynicism or reality,  that the real Kyle was killed by a Marine with post-traumatic stress disorder, who has never seen combat. Neither Wolf nor sheep, nor shepherd.
 Chris Kyle was a SEAL and a Texan. He went to war because he believed in his country, believed his president is asked of him and that he would help the citizens in the United States. His country sent him to do a job, and he did it. In WW II 10% if the soldiers were mercenaries, in Vietnam already 50% in Iraq I and Afghanistan 70% of those who fought were expendable .  Actually also the regulars are. As veteran’s they are discarded. The film focuses on Chris Kyle, an outstanding Navy Seal sniper who began as a would-be rodeo star who had experience hunting and shooting when he was young. I After having failed at being a rodeo star, Kyle signs up for military service in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
The film chroniclesfour of Kyle’s tours-of-duty in the Middle East. During each mission, his role as a sniper is primarily toassist his fellow ground soldiers, sometimes with them on the ground, while at other times in hidden places, usually atop small buildings. In one mission, they are assigned the impossible task of finding AbuMusabal-Zarqawi, one of the primary heads ofAl-Quaeda. In probably the most disturbing sequence, Kyle and his fellow soldiers sporting heavy-duty automatic firearms enter houses looking forZarqawi. One older man with his family claims to have information, but for a price. Then a scene or two later,Al-Quaeda operatives, in particular one nicknamed “the Butcher”, force the family to pay a deadly price for speaking with the enemy. Instead of receiving payment for their information, the family receives theultimate punishment. And yet, the scenes play out such that they have no choice but tocooperate with the Americans and yet are pressuringAl-Quaeda to retaliate against them, at least from the terrorists’ point of view.Another fascinating element of the film is Kyle’s “mirror”, an individual on the other side who has a similar position and/or ability to Kyle. Kyle realizes a sniper is taking out American soldiers and other combatants at nearly the same success rate as himself. As the enemy sniper starts shooting US soldiers, it seems that he is acting in the same way as the American snipers. The films shows how both sides are brought closely together. Could it be that they are becoming almost indistinguishable? Essentially, Kyle has found his middle-eastern counterpart, a sniper with the same abilities as his own, except he is a “savage”. Kyle and the American soldiers then realize they are engaged in a violent chess match in which Kyle and his counterpart-enemy are the most deadly pawns on the board. Not a real propaganda movie, waving the American flag, as so many claim.

Clint Eastwood has made a movie out of autobiography, which has gone beyond the book. The film has received no significant Oscars. Too honest for lying drone warriors, sheep and wolves? Clint Eastwood lends as much time portraying the strain the war had on Kyle’s personal life, specifically his wife. Bradley Cooper plays the conflicted Kyle, who forces himself to develop a hatred of the enemy, referring to Iraqis as “savages,” so he can justify killing them. The action scenes provide an adrenaline rush, but it’s the intentional moments of silence — such as when Kyle, with finger on the trigger, is deciding whether to kill a child who is holding what appears to be a bomb — that make American Sniper an outstanding movie.

Once again Clint Eastwood proves his mastery of the art of filmmaking with American sniper. You are provoked to transcend your preconceived mindset and the conventional wisdom. While the movie has reignited American public debates about the virtue and value of the conflict in the Middle East, it is the -lack- of internal moral conflict confronting the American sniper that captivated me the most. Its more a challenge to balance the different realities and his marriage. With war he is at ease. For me this reality change is what a great film is all about. I love its great camera work and atmosphere but it is the emotional power and unsuspected depth of the story which makes it a classic.

This film closely captures the mood, so you really felt present during the latest Iraq conflict and the everyday rebellion and insurgency combat in the streets. Only the US soldiers wear uniforms, they can be surprised and attacked from any quarter and by any man, woman and child. The action is close and personal so that it hits the heart of the viewer.  Chris, a crack American sniper watches every second through his gun sights, deliberating whether he should wait a little longer, or to fire now. When US troops use force in house to house searches, they are confronted face to face with Iraq’s families at home. Children, babies, women and military age men are terrorized by American soldiers in their search for one Muslim terrorist.

The moral conflict in Chris’s mind and heart threatened to tear him to pieces and also his family on his return to the USA. Yet he declared to his psychologist that his 160 kills was well justified in his efforts to serve his country and save his brothers in arms. In his thirst to kill, Chris has lost his moral compass without realizing it. Eastwood carefully sequences the scenes of professionalism and of moral corruptions to provoke viewers to evaluate the true meaning of heroism and war. The ‘just war’ waged by the US has turned the very people, the ordinary citizens of Iraqi, it is trying to rescue (from terrorism) into its enemies. The US may have captured much, but it lost the hearts and minds of most of the world. The US lost its soul.

For the perceptive one, this film dramatically also shows that those involved in military war are presented with the moral conflict more intensely than those in the shopping mall or the opinionated.

The war in Vietnam finally ended as the American public rebelled, when confronted with the terrible realities on TV in the comfort of their homes. Today nobody really cares. Personally I think that Clint Eastwood will prove to be successful as on who has reignited the public debate on the moral of the modern American wars with this film.