I was very pleased that The Hurt Locker won the Oscar for best picture. I thought it was a tight, well-made picture that deserved recognition. While I haven’t been over there, it tracks with my understanding of what it’s like in theatre and what the pressures are like on soldiers.
In its excellent and ongoing series on veterans and their lives, the New York Times offers two perspectives on The Hurt Locker from people who have been in the sandbox, as US soldiers call Iraq. One is from US Marine Michael Jernigan, who meditates on the dilemma of enjoying war movies as entertainment but struggles with the implications of the reality they represent. In the second piece, soldier turned poet Brian Turner suggests that the character of The Hurt Locker’s adrenaline-addicted Explosive Ordanance Disposal expert, Staff Sgt. James, is a symbol of the psychic cost that America has paid for the last ten years of wars.