Does “American Sniper” Give an Unfairly Negative Portrayal of Iraqis?

The question of whether American Sniper unfairly portrays Iraqis is one of the most controversial debates over the film. Many argue that the film’s portrayal of Iraqis in general is fairly one-dimensional, usually depicting them as straight villains with very few exceptions.

Others argue that representing Iraqis as one-dimensional actually reflects Kyle’s book, where he shows a fairly black-and-white perspective of his time in Iraq. In the film and perhaps in real life, Kyle’s interactions with Iraqis are more or less limited to dangerous combat situations, and it’s difficult to imagine Kyle having anything other than hostile encounters in those situations, especially given his role as a military sniper.