Clint Eastwood: ‘American Sniper’ Is Anti-War

There has been an ongoing debate on whether or not the top-grossing 2014 blockbuster movie American Sniper glorifies war. After all, the movie is about Chris Kyle, the renowned marksman with the most kills in United States history, and his tours of duty in Iraq.

American Sniper‘s director, Clint Eastwood, has made it clear that he is anti-war and believes that the movie’s message is too. Eastwood addressed students at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television during a lengthy interview at the Hollywood Masters Series in Los Angeles, in which he gave his views on many subjects and discussed his acting, producing, and directing past. According to Huffington Post, Eastwood stated that, despite the seeming glorification of Kyle’s actions in American Sniper, the movie reflects a stance that opposes war.

“I think it’s nice for veterans, because it shows what they go through, and that life–and the wives and families of veterans. It has a great indication of the stresses they are under. And I think that all adds up to kind of an anti-war [message].”

Clint Eastwood has directed, produced, and starred in movies that seemingly on the surface elevate war and violence, including his many westerns. He is also seen as being a conservative Republican poster child especially after the 2012 Republican convention when he spoke to an empty chair, questioning — and some said berating –an imaginary Barack Obama. However, Clint indicated that he was not a fan of the United States going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. According to the Huffington Post, Eastwood stated the following.

“I was not a big fan of going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan for several reasons, several practical reasons. The British had never been successful [in Afghanistan], the Russians had 10 years there and hadn’t been successful and so we think we’re going to go over there and we can’t even fly in directly and we’re going to… you know, it has to have some thought process added into it. Iraq, I know was a different deal because there was a lot of intelligence that told us that bad things could happen there and we’re never sure how that ended up whether it was pro or con or no, I tend to err on the side of less is best.”

American Sniper‘s screenwriter Jason Hall gave a similar appraisal of the movie and Eastwood’s motivations, indicating that he hoped that politicians would give more consideration to veterans’ needs after battle and the real cost of war — the ultimate physical and emotional toll it takes on returning veterans, according to TIME.

The legendary 83-year-old Eastwood had also served in the military himself, and even had a near death experience in the 1950s when a plane in which he hitched a free ride on ran out of fuel and crashed in shark-infested waters. He admitted, understandably, to being terrified, according to the Inquisitr.

[Image from Win McNamee/Getty Images]