Regular readers of AT know that we have been students of Iraq war literature, paging our way through a number of books and memoirs by soldiers and journalists. (See our Alternative Reading category below.)
Today we'd like to add a film to our Iraq war curriculum. The film is The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow's gritty tale of an army team that defuses the deadly IEDs, aka roadside bombs. (The film is still playing at Southroads AMC 20 in Tulsa.)
We can't say the film is exactly fun. It's not. But it is realistic and harrowing and, for this reason, an important film, one that shows how terrible and seductive war can be.
Quoting the writer Chris Hedges, the movie opens by noting that "war is a drug." Bigelow, one of the rising women directors in Hollywood, keeps the camera moving throughout the story, a way of communicating the adrenalin thrill of combat.
Bigelow also focuses on the faces of the protagonists, showing the grime and the sweat and the sheer terror of modern warfare. It's macho stuff—enough like real combat to shake up the most complacent among us.
For more, check out the official movie site here.