As 'American Sniper' continues to spark heated debate on whether the film promotes pro-war sentiments, Clint Eastwood defended his work as anti-war.
"The biggest antiwar statement any film" can make is to show "the fact of what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did," Eastwood said during the Producers Guild Award Nominees Breakfast on Saturday.
Eastwood went on to say that as director, he and star Bradley Cooper visited Chris Kyle's widow Tayla as soon as the wheels were in motion. "I went down there and met the mother and father and their grand-kids. It was of great value to [Bradley] because he could get into the history of the family and their feelings about the whole situation," he said at the breakfast hosted by The Hollywood Reporter.
'American Sniper' follows former Navy SEAL sniper, Chris Kyle, as he enters four tours during the Iraq war (Kyle had more confirmed kills than any other American sniper.) Throughout, the film shows the hardship of returning to a mundane life in between trips.
Several outspoken liberals and conservatives have put their two cents in on whether the film paints the picture of patriotism or whether it promotes war. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin entered the back-and-forth over the weekend when she engaged in a response to Michael Moore. Standing next to Afghanistan war veteran Dakota Meyer in a photo, the two held a sign that read “F— you Michael Moore,” with the Os in Moore deliberately drawn as cross-hairs. They were responding to a controversial tweet Moore sent in which he called snipers "cowards." Following backlash, he later clarified that his comments were in reference to snipers, but that he was not specifically commenting on the film.
Actor Seth Rogen also engaged in the debate via Twitter. Kid Rock blasted both Rogen and Moore for their criticisms of the film. On Friday, Bill Maher chimed in on his HBO show, suggesting that Chris Kyle is a “psychopathic patriot."
Eastwood previously commented on the intentions of the film in an interview with The Star, stating that 'Sniper" "certainly has nothing to do with any (political) parties or anything ... there’s no political aspect there other than the fact that a lot of things happen in war zones.”
'American Sniper' continued to shatter box offices this weekend, earning roughly $64.4 million and grossing $200 million domestically. It has received acclaim from the Academy with six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Bradley Cooper).