And what of the Iraqis? Is the war just a playground for thrill-seeking soldiers and filmmakers? James's sangfroid falters only when he gets emotionally involved and is drawn beyond the 300-meter perimeter to seek out the bad guys. But Bigelow is more than equal to the task, and with subtlety and detachment she, in a few harrowing and poetic scenes, evokes all the tragedy and absurdity of the war. The Hurt Locker is the first genuine work of art to emerge from the Iraq debacle.