Some critics have lambasted Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" for purportedly glorifying war, but the famed movie director recently revealed what he believes to be the "biggest anti-war statement" that can be found embedded in the record-breaking film.
"The biggest anti-war statement is what [war] does to the families left behind," Eastwood said at Saturday's Producers Guild Awards nominees breakfast, according to Variety.
Similarly, Yahoo! News quoted the "American Sniper" director as saying that the "biggest anti-war statement any film" can offer up is the "fact of what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did."
In making the film, which tells the story of famed Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Eastwood said that meeting the late military hero's family members was important to the process for both him and actor Bradley Cooper, who portrayed Kyle on screen.
So, the two went to Texas to meet Kyle's wife, children and extended family members before filming "American Sniper."
"I thought I’d better meet the rest of the family and see what they looked like and that would probably dictate the casting and to see what Mrs. Kyle was like," Eastwood said. "I went down there and met the mother and father and their grandkids. It was of great value to [Bradley] because he could get into the history of the family and their feelings about the whole situation. It was a very pleasant experience from beginning to end."
Screenwriter Jason Hall made similar comments earlier this month when he told Variety's "PopPolitics" that the lives of Kyle and his fellow soldiers, as depicted in the film, counter any images that might be seen as glorifying war.
"The cost is man, the toll is man, and it’s this man and every other soldier that fights," Hall told the outlet. "If we understand that, maybe we won’t be so hasty into jumping into war, and if we understand that, maybe we’ll find a way of welcoming [veterans] home better."
Hall added that he personally didn't entirely understand the Iraq War, but that he believes in supporting the troops once battle begins. The screen writer added that "soldiers don't choose their war; war chooses them or their politicians choose the war."
Listen to Hall make these comments below:
Emotions surrounding "American Sniper" — from support for the film to claims that it inaccurately portrays Kyle and the Iraq War — are complex and diverse, with some like filmmaker Michael Moore responding by issuing attacks.
"Instead of being a sniper to protect our troops, I tried to save their lives by stopping Bush from sending them to their deaths in Iraq," Moore tweeted over the weekend.