We are living through another dramatic moment in the complex relationship of war and cinema. This time, Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is the movie at issue. It has been nominated for six Academy Awards and praised as an anti-war movie, but has also been attacked for glorifying combat and misrepresenting the American campaign in Iraq.
War and cinema have been both allies and enemies at times. And illuminating this tangled past can, in fact, help us to understand the backstory of the accusations and defenses that swirl around American Sniper.