The Hurt Locker, Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

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The Hurt Locker directed by Kathryn Bigelow and a winner of six Academy Awards, demonstrated the life of soldiers in and out of war and the lasting effects that combat has on their lives. Jeremy Renner, in the role of Sergeant William James, plays the lead character in the film followed by supporting actors, Anthony Mackie as Sergeant Sanborn, and Brian Geraghy as Specialist Eldridge. With increased threats of terrorist’s attacks in the Twenty First Century, the ideas discussed in this paper are representative of the growing need to understand the psychological effects war has on soldiers. The review of the film, The Hurt Locker along with war-related literature focuses on war as a form of addiction, and analyzes how the brutality of war disrupts the lives of individuals on both sides of the social conflict. In this combat film, the plot is based on an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team (EOD) during the Iraq war in 2004. The soldiers are responsible for disarming enemy explosives setup throughout the city. The storyline is constructed around the demonstrative behavior of Sergeant James, and how his attitude and actions put himself and his team in constant danger. Sergeant James, referred to in the film as the “Wildman” because of the record dismantling of 873 bombs during the war, enters Army Camp Victory as the lead of the EOD unit. James, in view of his job, is noted as saying “it’s just combat” and appears to not consider the danger. Through the story of these three men, Director Bigelow created imagery of soldiers fulfilling their duty while depicting the consequences war has on each one of these men’s psyches. The intoxication of war seen in the character of Sergeant James represented the social issue faced by soldiers figh... ... middle of paper ... ...). A war correspondent tries to make sense of what he’s seen. Nieman Reports. 56, (4), 95. Bigelow, K., Boal, M., Chartier, N., & Shapiro, G. (Producers), & Bigelow, K. (Director). (2008). The hurt locker. [Motion picture]. United States: Voltage Pictures. Daly, N. (2009). Men at work. The American Interest, 5(1), 96-98. Retrieved July 10, 2011. Eitzen, D.S., Zinn, M., Smith,K. (2011). Social Problems. Boston, Ma: Pearson Education, Inc. RTI International. (2008). Department of defense survey of health related behaviors among active duty military personnel. Retrieved from Tanielian, T. (2009). Assessing combat exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder in troops and estimating the costs to society: Implications from the RAND invisible wounds of war study. Retrieved from

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