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女性監督週間7 ハート・ロッカー(2008年)The Hurt Locker (2008)

監督 キャスリン・ビグロー/Director: Kathryn Bigelow
出演 ジェレミー・レナー/Starring: Jeremy Renner



The war’s long night of spiritual darkness

I chose Kathryn Bigelow for the last of the female directors week. She is the first woman in the history of the Oscars to win the Best Director award for The Hurt Locker. Those with experience in the Iraq war say that the portrayal is inaccurate‚ under-researched and full of errors‚ and that the Japanese video game software in the film was actually not available for purchase at the time‚ and so on; taking on the soft spots of the film. Although there was various criticism‚ in any case the film was an Oscar winner. This is a brilliant achievement and I would like to support her directing career.

However‚ since when did American war films become so quiet and talk to us on an individual level? When it comes to war films‚ most images are of bombs being dropped‚ the large movement of tanks‚ squadrons and troops that sally in formation; the battle strategy and battleground are like this. The Longest Day‚ Battle of Dunkirk‚ Tora! Tora! Tora!; these films had an all-star cast which can be said to be the appendage of grand drama that resigned itself to the role of favouring war.

The Hurt Locker takes up the story of the United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team in Iraq. Under the blazing sun of hell‚ no matter how much these young men strengthen themselves with body armour‚ they are executing a dangerous task that could cost them their lives. The gravity of war is heavy‚ dark and pessimistic. But that’s not all: the viewpoint of the director has the same tempo of the scene of war‚ actually it is a bit further than that. The young men hate and fear the war‚ and think it is pointless‚ they still strongly hope for peace...

In the last scene‚ the clattering small sound of “__ days until withdrawal” is shown. What meaning do these numbers have? While completing his dangerous duty until the withdrawal‚ Sargeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) again chooses the same military service. The director doesn’t particularly harp on about his reasons for doing so. His judgement based on his determination and thoughts is portrayed as easily as though he was choosing between a bacon and egg hamburger or a teriyaki chicken one. It seems that the director wanted to make a comment that American war films were no more about this kind of everyday mentality.

Infringing the everyday and deeply penetrating the hearts of the public‚ quietly the war goes about fulfilling its duty. No one believes in victory. They just want it to finish soon. Even then the young men try to faithfully do what they must. Stealing the dreams and productivity of the future‚ the country and its people have fallen into this kind of futile situation; is this the real horror of war? The small sound of the final numbers make us think of a “long night of spiritual darkness” without any future.