The blockbuster movie American Sniper has been pulled from a theater in Baghdad, the only one in Iraq that has chosen to show the film.
The Washington Post reports the decision to pull the movie followed some “rowdy” screenings and complaints coming from movie goers and the Iraqi government.
“It glorifies Americans and makes Iraqis out to be nothing but terrorists,” said Ahmed Kamal, 27, a teacher, who downloaded the film for free on a pirate Web site because he didn’t want to pay to see a movie in which the hero refers to Iraqis as “savages.”
“I wasn’t prepared to spend money to see it,” he said. “It portrays Americans as strong and noble, and Iraqis as ignorant and violent.”
The theater’s manager said he scrapped the film after receiving a call from a senior official at the Ministry of Culture, who warned he could be hit with fines — and even a shut-down — if he continued to showcase the movie.
“He told me the film insults Iraqis,” Fares Hilal told the Washington Post. “If we show it, we will be criticized. But if we don’t, we lose money. A lot of people wanted to see this film.”
The movie chronicles the life of NavySEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper plays Kyle and told CBS NewsL “I never saw it as a war movie, I saw it as a character study. So, I never even contemplated anything other than someone would get to know this man and his family.”
The film was nominated for six awards at the Oscars, including best picture.