… And Liking What They See

 

 

 

 

” Early in American Sniper, the title character, Chris Kyle, stares through his crosshairs at a woman and child who may be preparing an attack on American troops. Even when the woman hands the boy an RPG, Kyle waits to pull the trigger. In one particular theater, with “the entire audience on the edge of their seats,” patrons start screaming, encouraging Kyle to “Just shoot him!

  Where was this theater? Somewhere near a U.S. military base, maybe? Or perhaps in the heart of a red state? Actually, this packed theater, “full and rowdy,” is in the Mansour Mall, in Baghdad.

  As everybody knows, Clint Eastwood’s film has been a box-office smash, praised for its directing and its performances, and attacked as a work of bloodthirsty, racist, militarist propaganda. One of the few things about the film that has received little attention is that it has been playing well in the Middle East, including in Iraq.

  A piece at Global Post addresses audience reaction at one upscale Baghdad theater, though the article is dependent on a small handful of interviews. The story is credited to “Susannah George in Beirut and a journalist in Baghdad.” 

The film has also been drawing big crowds in Lebanon. Edited versions have opened in several Gulf states, with cuts to a scene involving the Quran. Jordanian censors originally rejected the film outright, though distributors plan to submit a re-edited version. “

 

 

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