'It's a Hell of a Thing': Controversy Surrounding 'American Sniper' Misses the Point

February 11, 2015 9:28 AM

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"It's a hell of a thing to stop a beating heart," Bradley Cooper's Chris Kyle remarks to his young son toward the end of American Sniper. The range of philosophical and ethical responses to this single line that could - and have - come forth since the release of Clint Eastwood's film reveal the extent to which the film has reached, challenged and perhaps even corrupted the hearts of its audience.

American Sniper tells the story of Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, the U.S. Navy SEAL who is credited with the most confirmed kills in American military history. However, given the discussions it has provoked and the public outcry it has generated, it seems clear that the questions raised by the fil...

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