Transcribed from Gmail Chat conversation

Q: Did you think Hurt Locker was a realistic representation of what is going on in Iraq?

A: I believe Hurt Locker was a better representation of the war in Iraq than many of the other war movies that come out of America because it wasn’t overly politicized and didn’t try to outdo itself with fantastical effects and the like. Though there were several scenes where things were exaggerated for effect and in that sense it as unrealistic.

Q: Did Hurt Locker change your view on terrorism? If so, how?

A: In a way it made me understand why they would see these foreigners as a natural enemy.  I think the biggest effect it had on my view is from the perspective of the American soldiers who are there risking their lives but don’t seem to know why

Q: Based on the way the Americans interacted with the Iraqis in the movie, do you think they are helping or hurting the long-term war on terror?

A: I don’t specifically remember all of their interactions, but from the ones I do remember – like the young boy and the main character – I think the troops there are trying their hardest (I do not know if it is working though).  I feel the Americans try to respect the people there, but the fact that they are there at all may have a negative effect on war on terror in itself.

Q: The opening quote in the movie says, “War is a drug”. What was your initial reaction to this and did it change by the end of the movie?

A: At first I did not understand what they meant by that because most people view war as such a terrible thing.  I did not fully understand why the main character decided to go back to Iraq in the end (leaving his family and all) but I guess for some people the action gets them high and they crave it like a drug – so yes i began to understand the quote by the end of the movie

Q: Why do you think the director (or writer) chose to never really show terrorists on-screen?

A: I think the director and writers did not show many terrorists throughout the movie to create an effect that the troops in Iraq do not really know who there enemy is.  The people they did portray as terrorists – or potential terrorists – were never fully confirmed and it built a sense of drama because the soldiers did not know who was good and who was bad. Maybe this is a display of how the war, its purpose, and the enemy are not fully clear or known.

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: I liked the movie a lot because it did not try and make America look like the savior of Iraq like many American films do and I also liked to see that the main character was trying to help everyone he could while befriending the locals. It was a good representation (in my opinion) of the human side of the troops in the Iraq War and how unsafe they are but they are still fighting.