The Hurt Locker
2009. USA. Kathryn Bigelow. 131 min.
Followed by a discussion with Bigelow, writer Mark Boal, and star Jeremy Renner
Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
The Hurt Locker
2009. USA. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. In the summer of 2004, Sergeant J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) of Bravo Company are at the volatile center of the Iraq war—part of a small unit specifically trained to handle the bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that account for more than half of American military fatalities and have killed thousands of Iraqis.
When Staff Sergeant William James (Jeremy Renner) cheerfully takes over the team, Sanborn and Eldridge are shocked by his apparent recklessness and disregard for military protocol and basic safety measures. And yet, in the fog of war, appearances are never reliable for long. Is James really a swaggering cowboy who lives for the moments when the margin of error is zero, or is he a consummate professional who has honed his esoteric craft to high-wire precision? As the fiery chaos of Baghdad threatens to engulf them, the men struggle to understand and contain their mercurial new leader long enough for them to make it home. They have only thirty-eight days left in their tour, but with each new mission comes another deadly encounter, and as James blurs the line between bravery and bravado, it seems like only a matter of time before disaster strikes.
One of the most acclaimed films of 2009, The Hurt Locker could only really exist on its own terms, as a work of cinema, in a post–G. W. Bush world; that administration's politicization of the war in Iraq would not have allowed for a full and open appreciation of Bigelow’s exhilarating film. 131 min.
The Museum of Modern Art and the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), in conjunction with the Gotham Independent Film Awards, present Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker.
In the Film exhibition The Contenders, 2009
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