Are these guys addicted to adrenaline, or do they have a death wish?
I wouldn't want to think of it as a death wish, but I think they are incredibly courageous. If you've read Chris Hedges's book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, he talks about the allure of war. And, mind you, this is an all-volunteer military. What Hedges says is that for some individuals, combat provides an allure and an attraction.
Do you find it ironic that this is coming out the same week the troops are withdrawing from major Iraq cities?
I do. When the studio set the release date, back in January, I think the withdrawal date was set for August. I don't think they could have anticipated it.
With the war ending, do you think your movie might not suffer the same fate as other Iraq-War films?
This is the first that is, in fact, a war film. The others were not about combat. It's like if you were to go into Blockbuster and were looking for Coming Home, it would be under "Drama." If you were looking for Apocalypse Now, it would be under "War." This also would be in the "War" section. That's my scientific categorization.
Is this theApocalypse Now of Iraq?
Our references are more The Battle of Algiers or The Best Years of Our Lives. But what I do think The Hurt Locker does and Apocalypse Now did for that conflict is that they unpack the abstract and make it concrete and tactile. And if they make it non-partisan, then you have a more informed opinion. At the end of the day, it's about a bomb tech walking down the street wondering if he's going to survive.
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