Arts council presents Bigelow’s ‘The Hurt Locker’

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One of the first movies coming out of the Iraq War is Kathryn Bigelow’s 2008 thriller, “The Hurt Locker” starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Guy Pearce.

This is the second Bigelow-directed movie during the Spring Film Series at the Oats Park Arts Center. The box office, Art Bar and galleries open at 6 p.m. with the movie beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7, members; $10 nonmembers. Tickets are available at the box office on the night of screening or call CAC at 775-423-1440.

“The Hurt Locker” follows an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team who are targeted by insurgents, and shows their psychological reactions to the stress of combat. This combat stress is intolerable to some but then addictive to others. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won six, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, making it the first Best Picture winner by a female director; Bigelow also became the first female director to win Best Director.

In 2004, Sgt. 1st Class William James arrives as the new team leader of a U.S. Army EOD unit in Iraq. He replaces Staff Sgt. Matthew Thompson. His team includes Sgt. J. T. Sanborn and Spec. Owen Eldridge. Sanborn and Eldridge consider James’ maverick disposal methods and attitude reckless, raising tensions. When they are assigned to destroy explosives, James returns to the detonation site to pick up his gloves. Sanborn openly contemplates killing him by “accidentally” triggering the explosives, making Eldridge uncomfortable. Nothing is done and tensions continue to increase.

Near the end of their tour, their unit is called to another mission in their last two days of their rotation. An innocent Iraqi civilian has had a bomb vest strapped to his chest. James tries to cut off the locks to remove the vest, but there are too many of them. He abandons the man, who is killed when the bomb explodes.

After Bravo Company’s rotation ends, James returns to his ex-wife Connie and their infant son, who still live with him in his house. James, though, is bored by routine civilian life and confesses to his son that there is only one thing that he knows he loves. He starts another tour of duty, serving with Delta Company, a U.S. Army EOD unit on its 365-day rotation.


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