Friday, July 31, 2009

Mini-Review of "The Hurt Locker"

A few days ago I was on the phone with John Campbell and his wife, Susan Bird. They are the founders of MyVetwork, an organization I have written about here in the past. (

In the course of our conversation, Susan asked: "Have you seen 'The Hurt Locker' yet? Given your constituency and the number of people you know who have fought and are fighting in Iraq, you need to see this film."

Since Susan is someone whose opinion I value greatly, I went to see the film the first time I could squeeze it into my schedule. I am so glad that I did. This is a remarkably well done movie, based on the experiences and observations of journalist-screenwriter Mark Boal. Director Kathryn Bigelow, has masterfully realized the vision in Boal's screenplay - an unblinking, blunt, vivid script based on reports from his 2004 stint in Baghdad as a reporter embedded with a bomb squad). The film focuses on the unit's final 38 days in Iraq, and provocatively examines the interface between bravery and obsession, and the ratio of risk and responsibility that the members of this bomb squad assume.

This film is likely to garner multiple Academy Award nominations, and adds some significant insights into the ongoing conversation about the current wars in which our troops are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a film that should be seen and then discussed.


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