Last summer, NBC’s Brian Williams wrote a piece called “The Hurt Locker: Hurting for a Fact-Checker” regarding one of the top two contenders for Best Picture at this weekend’s Oscars. Williams noted, “I found a slew of technical inaccuracies based only on my few trips to Iraq during the height of the conflict. Seeing the movie made me go back over many of the positive reviews I read… [I]t is now clear none of them was written by anyone who had spent any time with U.S. armed forces in Iraq.”
Williams suggested that the filmmakers botched the following minor details: the vehicles, the armor, the armaments, the helmets, the uniforms, the communications technology, the military jargon, the unit structure, the command procedure, and the mission logistics.
On the plus side, Williams noted that the filmmakers accurately portrayed soldiers’ fingernails being dirty and their eyelashes being covered with dust. Score one for cinéma vérité! Williams also praised the film’s lovely desert scenery.
Williams ended, “I’d like to watch ‘The Hurt Locker’ with a combat veteran, but my layman’s eyes found way too much to quarrel with.”
Fortunately for Williams, combat veterans have already seen the film. Unfortunately for director Kathryn Bigelow, their criticism of the film is even more scathing than that of Williams.
Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, recently concluded in Newsweek that “Hollywood’s latest attempt to define the Iraq War and the American troops who have fought in it is just as disappointing as all the others produced so far.” read more »