I had an interesting discussion with Markela regarding The Hurt Locker. Specifically, we discussed two ideas. We talked about how The Hurt Locker could potentially have been a form of war propaganda, which further explains the high praise and attention it received. We also talked about how the War on Terror is depicted as a drug in this film, which supports the idea that the film could be war propaganda.

Regarding the first idea, Markela said, “I have seen “The Hurt Locker” but I didn’t like it that much. I thought it was kind of long and repetitive. The fact that it won so many Oscars was a surprise…some even said that it won because of the subject of the film…you know as pro-war propaganda.” This is a very interesting foreign perspective, since in America we may not be able to detect propaganda since it infiltrates our lives so discreetly.

Regarding the second idea, Markela said, “At some point, Sergeant James reminded me of House M.D., like a junkie trying to get fixed, trying to solve the puzzle no matter what…even if this meant risking his life excessively.” To this I responded that I think this adds to the possibility of it being war propaganda, since war is presented in this film as a drug; that is, we are psychologically compelled to fight terrorism at all costs. The drive to fight in the War on Terror is addictive, and the government enables our addiction. By giving us a dichotomy of good versus evil, we feel obligated to get the ‘war fix’. If we do not get our fix, or if Sergeant James does not get his fix, it seems as though we will have lost our purpose. Sergeant James went home to his girlfriend and child and seemed to feel so out of place in his own home. What he needed was to combat more terrorism. The end of the film made it clear that he felt most at home in war torn areas doing what he did best: protecting innocent people from IEDs. Home is where his addiction is.