Ten years of Iraq War films: Why audiences shunned movies about Mideast
In the 10 years since the Iraq War began on March 19, 2003, there have been a preponderance of films about the conflict in the Middle East. 2007 alone saw the release of "In the Valley of Elah," which depicted post-traumatic stress disorder among Iraq veterans; "Redacted," about the slaughter of civilians; "Lions for Lambs," about government pro-war propaganda; and "Rendition," about U.S. torture practices.
All of them were, for lack of a better word, bombs, and failed to capture the public imagination. (When's the last time you heard of someone streaming "In the Valley of Elah" on Netflix?)
Even "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow's 2009 opus about an American bomb squad, struggled to find an audience until it swept the Academy Awards; it was the lowest-grossing film ever to take the best picture Oscar. Much like foreign coverage of Iraq as the wars dragged on, "The Hurt Locker" was largely ignored.