American Sniper

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by scmom, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    See it! It is one of the most thought provoking movies you will see, that highlights the terrible cost of war, and that we need to do a much better job of supporting our military when they serve and when they return. We also need to support families who also pay a terrible price.

    The movie is not intended to glorify or condemn war. It is simply the story of an amazing family and, really, thousands of families.

    I was stunned by the attention to detail and reality of the movie. I know the family and it was true to their experience and spirit. I saw it at the charity opening on Wed. and can't get it out of my head. Go see it (without kids)!
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    You and I got very different things out of the movie. I hated it, and would not recommend it to anyone.

    I do not know the family, but from what I have read, it was not an accurate portrayal of the sniper himself, and glossed over some of the less pleasant parts of his personality in order to create a hero.

    The whole thing made me very uncomfortable, as does the racist dribble it seems to be inspiring on the Internet. What the movie seems to do is not to persuade a person, but to reveal how a person really feels about the current war. Unfortunately, a very vocal minority are using it as a rationale for their racism...
     
  4. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    This. I was uncomfortable with his racism and some of his (in my opinion) psychopathic comments on being a sniper. The fact that the movie seemed to either get rid of these or gloss them over makes me feel like it is not okay.
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I watched it over the weekend (along w/ Woman in Black 2). I knew nothing about Chris Kyle before...never even heard of him. But then again, I'm not into military movies. I'm sure it wasn't always an accurate portrayal of him. It was so-so. My BF wanted to watch it, otherwise, I never would have.

    The point in the movie when he shot their sniper from that far distance, some people in the theatre clapped.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I agree with you, scmom....... This is a movie worth seeing.
     
  7. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.


    william_tecumseh_sherman
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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  9. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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  10. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    This is so weird, because I'm not regularly on these forums anymore. But I wanted to come on today, because I was wondering about this movie. Particularly, there is some backlash against comments (tweets) made by Michael Moore, apparently directed toward this subject. This is not to hijack or make this about Michael Moore. Rather, I was so dumbfounded as to the level of vitriol and opposition to the viewpoint expressed by Moore... and the comments that made by posters here, which I frankly did not expect here.

    Anyway, if you put aside his comment (which he elaborated on, trying to put water on it), his overall point was that Kyle (as the imperialistic "invader") is not necessarily the hero as he's being portrayed. Which I happen to tend to agree with (though to be honest: I don't know much about the story). I think there is certainly enough though, to doubt this guy and the way he's generally portrayed (as an American hero).

    Yet the comments/attacks on Moore were so one-sided--it surprised me. As a self-proclaimed student of history, it sort of makes me think about how (perhaps) people in 1930 Germany may have been attacked, for commenting against the Nazi regime. Or how (maybe) people in colonial and Civil War era America may have been attacked for making comments against racism and slavery. (It has always confused me, how societies would ever fall in-line with such obviously misguided policies.)

    I think of Moore's general position, saying that we are invaders and (as such) are the "bad guys" in many instances and ways. This is really difficult to refute, if you look at things objectively (i.e. through the lens of history. When history defines this era of world history, and it is cited that America has military bases in over 100 countries around the world, that America military spending absolutely dwarfs the rest of the world even though we've never had our continental soil EVER invaded)... I just can't imagine how that will come off as anything positive or benevolent.

    And so, when a guy like Moore expresses a viewpoint in opposition to the military and is derided and insulted and attacked, I wonder if we're living in a time similar (in its own way) to those eras that I mentioned. I'm not saying I'm right, but it just sort of struck me, reading comments today.
     
  11. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Perfect. :thumb:
     
  12. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    John, seems to me you have completely hijacked this thread from the OP (scmom). The thread is about American Sniper, the movie not MM's viewpoint about an American hero. For what it's worth sniper's have been part of military strategy for hundreds of years.

    ...... In any event I suggest we return to the thread that scmom started.
     
  13. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Are you serious? I think his post is VERY relevant to the movie.
     
  14. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Yes, I'm serious.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I watched the movie with my war hero husband sitting a row behind other military vets. You can imagine our take away was quite different from thse who have little understanding of the military lifestyle, PTSD, or what as happended in Fallujah since our withdrawal.


    Equating the US military with Nazi Germany is not particularly relevant to the movie and it's quite disrespectful of the military, military family members here on the forums and is just a 'bit' ignorant :2cents: admittedly coming fom someone who stated he "though to be honest: I don't know much about the story"...
     
  16. John Lee

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    You are highlighting my point. It is to say that there seems to be NO ROOM to disagree, when it comes to the subject of our military, and that confuses me. In this particular case, the subject in question (Kyle) has his own warts, making the seemingly unanimous affirmation of him even more puzzling.

    I apologize for citing the Nazis, because that always takes eyes off the ball. I'm not trying to equate our military to the Nazis... not at all. I'm possibly equating the attitudes of the people within that culture (unanimous approval of what seems to be a debatable topic), to the attitudes Americans have about our military and any dissenting opinions.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You can disagree with the mission, the foreign policy (or lack there of)... But calling a trained military professional a coward for following his orders a coward is ignorant. :2cents:
     
  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I don't always agree with the things our military are asked to do, but I will always support the people who don that uniform for my country.

    I have not read the book so I won't see the movie until I do, but several people I know have seen it and think it was well done.
     
  19. John Lee

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    I agree. Calling him a coward for doing his job (i.e. following orders) is ignorant. But isn't labeling him a hero despite some pretty disturbing behavior on his part ignorant in its own right? Although, since his transgressions are pretty common knowledge, you can't really call it ignorance (not knowing). You would have to call it something else. That's where the blind allegiance (IMO) comes in.
     
  20. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Seth Rogen (a comedian) made a comment comparing the movie to an episode within the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglourious Bastards. First of all, anyone who has seen that movie--I defy you to say that the two aren't actually quite similar on the surface! (movie canonizing a sniper's deeds in war)

    Rogen's comments are not met with the level of understanding one might normally expect (that he is a comedian, and his comment should at least at some level, be taken as such). Instead, it is met overwhelmingly with indignation and vitriol. It's like you simply can't say anything that isn't glowingly "patriotic" and in support of this guy Kyle. Again... Rogen's comment is actually pretty accurate!
     
  21. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I do look forward to seeing this with my family.
     
  22. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I knew this would stir up controversy but I strongly feel it is an important enough story to be worth discussion.

    Chris is a hero to me, and to the thousands of soldiers he saved and their families. Taya is a hero to me for surviving everything she and her family have gone through as gracefully as possible. It is okay if he isn't a hero for you. He wasn't a perfect person. None of us are.

    Did he do terrible things? Absolutely - as do most soldiers in combat if they are following orders! It was war. He did more than most because he was better at protecting others than most.

    Did he think and say terrible things? Probably. Wouldn't most of us faced with the constant stress he was under? To do what he did and stay sane you would have to believe the enemy were just that - the enemy.

    Whether you believe it or not, Chris was focused on saving people, and he did what he did to save as many as he could.

    Imo the movie isn't about glorifying a hero, it is about how a real man and his wife deal with the ugly realities of war. We hear about war on the news, we read about it, but it is facts and figures and stuff we get tired of. A story like this, I hope, slaps us in the face and makes us pay attention because it is a raw story about real people facing real ethical dilemmas and we can feel outrage or empathy or whatever for them.

    The point is that we should feel for them, and do something. Anything. Support a local family. Donate to a charity. Protest. Support. Volunteer. Remember the stats we see are real people - not robots in a war machine. They feel. They hurt. They need support whether you support the war or not. This is above politics.
     
  23. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    Does anyone else see the contradiction here? I'm not one to compare this guy to a Nazi, but this is literally the excuse that Nazi's gave for committing all of the atrocities they did.
     
  24. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    In before the lock.
    This was our first "pre-emptive" war. We claimed stuff in the Gulf of Tonkin in Viet Nam but we claimed WOMD and then couldnt find any. Let's be honest, all soldiers are not heroes. All teachers are not paragons of virtue always imparting knowledge to their students. No one is perfect. When I hear my freedoms are being protected in Afgahnistan I have to think about it. I have HUGE respect for military personnel. Their lives are dictated by people moving them like pawns with sometimes not so much regard for the safety. They literally risk their lives in far away place (that we probably do not belong in). In fact the only charity I give to (and have for many years is) the DAV. That said, dissent finally got us into WW2 and out of Viet Nam. Both good ideas if you ask me. but like I said earlier
    IBTL
     
  25. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I have not seen the movie yet, but it is definitely on my list to see. Honestly, any man/woman who willingly puts themselves into a life/death situation for others is a hero to me. Are all heroes perfect people with no flaws? Of course not. Neither is Chris Kyle, but he did things that most of us wouldn't dream of.
     
  26. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Right. I wouldn't dream of doing them because I find them morally reprehensible, or questionable at best. I don't see that as a reason to celebrate his life.
     
  27. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    He was following orders. He might not have agreed with those orders, but it was his duty to do so. And I'm not just talking about what he did during war either. It takes a special person to work with soldiers with PTSD. He did it, even knowing the risks.
     
  28. Jerseygirlteach

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    I have not seen the movie and take NO position on the man or the film.


    Just taking orders, though, is not a good excuse. It's the same excuse the Nazis gave when they defended genocide.
     
  29. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Why should this thread be locked? No personal attacks (yet :p), and it is a relevant and pretty important topic.

    The differing opinions here, seem much more in-line with what I would expect. Pretty cool!
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    :wow:
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    This is an interesting thread. I'm curious about the movie, but haven't decided if I will see it. I've recently met a soldier who is suffering from PTSD and have heard first hand what it is like for him and his family. He is such a kind man and my heart breaks for him.
     
  32. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well, I saw it.

    Stunned. Silence. That's all I can say.

    It's going to take me a while to process the movie, the story, everything.

    I do have a question...was the movie made (or planned to be made) before he was killed? If so, I wonder how it would have ended (no spoilers-it's been news since 2013).
     
  33. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Stunned. Silence. This is accurate when hearing the horrors first hand.
     
  34. Bella2010

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    I haven't seen the movie yet. I do think of him as a hero, as I do every man and woman who has chosen to serve our country. I respect people who don't feel this way. However, the simple truth is that we enjoy the liberties and freedoms we have thanks to our service men and women. This fact doesn't change depending on a person's stance on the situation. :2cents:
     
  35. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I totally agree. It has been a week for me and I am still processing it.

    Yes, the book was on the best seller list and Bradley Cooper had bought the movie rights a little while before Chris was killed. He only got to speak to Chris once. Good question about the ending. Who knows....movie land often makes stuff up, but he had promised Chris that he would honor his family.
     
  36. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Unbroken is the book to read about a soldier who overcame things no mortal human could imagine. It is still on the NYT BSL. Have not seen the movie.
     
  37. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Here's a pretty comprehensive comparison of the movie and real life.

    DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK if you do not want to read spoilers. You can scroll down and read about Kyle's real life, compared to claims he made, without many movie spoilers.

    http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/american-sniper/
     
  38. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    I like and admire Chris Kyle .... and would want someone as a neighbor just like him... In my opinion Mr. Kyle is a man's man. Certainly not perfect, but someone you could depend on ... day in.... day out. He is a brave man ...... an American Hero ... who, in part, served his country as a sniper......... Too bad he's gone.......
     
  39. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    No, but if soldiers refuse to carry out a direct order from the higher ups, then they get written up or worse. Many I'm sure do not agree with their orders 100% of the time, but do them anyway to avoid punishment.
     
  40. MikeTeachesMath

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    [​IMG]
     
  41. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    To be precise, the Uniform Code of Military Justice is at pains to point out that what the member of the armed forces is required to obey is a lawful order (10 US Code §892 Art. 1-3). If an order does not comply with the UCMJ or with the law, the military member has a duty not to obey, and the member can be subject to punishment for obeying an order that the member knew was illegitimate or immoral. physteach's comment above shouldn't have raised eyebrows: this was indeed the crux of the legal case against Nazi military members at Nuremberg.
     

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