Michelle Obama has offered her thoughts on “American Sniper,” and director Clint Eastwood should be pleased to hear she thinks his Iraq War drama is a “complex emotional depiction of a veteran and his family.”
Obama praised the Oscar nominee on Friday following a panel discussion with star Bradley Cooper and producers Bruce Cohen, Sarah Schechter, Lori McCreary and Stephanie Drachkovitz at a Washington, D.C. event held by Got Your 6, an organization that recognizes and encourages entertainment that accurately portrays veterans and military families.
“I know there have been critics, but more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences I have heard first-hand from military families over these past few years,” the first lady said. “This movie reflects those wrenching stories I’ve heard, the complex journeys that our men and women in uniform endure, the complicated world, the decisions they are tasked with every day, the stresses of balancing love of family with love of country, and the challenges of transitioning back home.”
The drama based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle — a sniper who holds the record for most confirmed kills in military history — has been criticized for glorifying violence and bigotry, while others are targeting Kyle’s integrity or his occupation, in general.
Obama did not focus on Kyle, but rather Cooper’s portrayal of Kyle’s experience, since entertainment options like “Sniper” are the “best way we have” to share the trauma soldiers endure.
“Here’s why a movie like this is important: The vast majority of Americans will have never seen these stories or grasp these issues, without portrayals like this,” Obama said.
According to USA Today, Obama’s commentary on “Sniper” caused one emotional marine in the audience to stand up and say, “Thank you for getting it right.”