Tags: Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | American Sniper | Baghdad | Iraq | IED | audiences

Iraqi Audiences Riveted by 'American Sniper'

By    |   Friday, 30 Jan 2015 10:54 AM

While the blockbuster hit "American Sniper" was pulled from a Iraqi movie theater a week after its release, the film reportedly thrilled the Iraqi audience in Baghdad.

The movie opens with a scene in which Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, played by actor Bradley Cooper, is faced with a decision of whether or not he should shoot a young boy carrying an improvised explosive device, or IED, toward U.S. Marines, the Global Post reported. 

"Some people watching were just concentrating, but others were screaming 'F—-, shoot him! He has an IED, don't wait for permission!'" said Gaith Mohammed, who watched the film at a theater at the Mansour Mall in Baghdad, adding that the theater was packed and rowdy.

However, even though the film was popular in Iraq, the Mansour Mall theater decided to pull the movie "because the hero of this film boasts of killing more than 160 Muslims," a theater employee said that the management concluded.

The movie has been the source of controversy since it opened in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day, in which Kyle, who is known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, refers to the Iraqi insurgents as "savages" in the book the movie is based on.

But that didn't stop Iraqi moviegoers from turning out to see the film, which was in such high demand they often had to buy tickets in advance the first week it opened there.

Mohammad told the Global Post that he didn't think the movie was racist or anti-Arab.

"The sniper was killing terrorists," he said. "The only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn't know anything about the Quran."

He also said that the scenes where women and children were killed were hard for him to watch.

The Baghdad resident said that he loves "watching war movies because especially now they give me the strength to face ISIS."

Other Iraqis who saw the film say that they're glad it was pulled, such as a man, who only gave his first name Wael, who said that he thought it was too violent.

"To some extent, I considered it against all Muslims," Wael said.

About the scene with the mother and child, he said that "the sniper, he has a chance to hit the child and his mother in their foot or anywhere without killing them, but he didn't because he's bloodthirsty like all the American troops."

However, Wael also said that he watched the movie three times.

"American Sniper" is on record to become the highest grossing military-based film and the highest grossing R-rated film.

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While the blockbuster hit "American Sniper" was pulled from a Iraqi movie theater a week after its release, the film reportedly thrilled the Iraqi audience in Baghdad.
American Sniper, Baghdad, Iraq, IED, audiences
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2015-54-30
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 10:54 AM
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