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American Sniper has angered quite a few people since it was released. Some of them were critics; others were more famous moviegoers who found themselves so disgusted by Clint Eastwood’s Chris Kyle biopic that they immediately had to inform the world of their anger on social media. But the film’s biggest hater to date might have only just reared his head; Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
According to the New York Post, the daily IRAN Farsi, which is a state-run newspaper, has reported that Iran’s leader has publicly criticized American Sniper. But rather than having an issue with Clint Eastwood’s directorial style or American Sniper’s narrow scope on such a epic subject, the Ayaltollah took umbrage with the film’s most basic premise. Khamenei came out and stated that because American Sniper depicts a US soldier fighting in Iraq, it encourages violence against Muslims. These comments were accompanied with various other attacks on the West.
Khameni was quoted by the publication (in what appears to be either a rough translation or broken English) proclaiming, "The movie Sniper that is made by Hollywood encourages a Christian or non-Muslim youngster to harass and offend the Muslims as far as they could." He then added that this is just further evidence that there is propaganda against Muslims in both Europe and the US.
It's definitely worth mentioning that Khamenei's comments regarding American Sniper aren't exactly coming from the most informed source. That’s because he also admitted that he hasn’t actually watched the film. That’s right: Ayatollah Ali Kahamanei is one of those people who go around criticizing a film only to then admit that they’ve not actually seen it. These are not good people. In my opinion, you can only really criticize a film if you’ve actually taken the time and effort out of your day to sit down and watch it unfold. Then you’re allowed to hate it. Otherwise it’s got nothing to do with you. I’d like to think I’d say this to the Ayatollah’s face, however, the fact that he has his own army and an entire country behind him means that I’d probably pussy out and just agree with his American Sniper assessment if I ever did get close enough to stroke his magnificent beard.
Unfortunately for the Ayatollah, American Sniper has been a rousing financial triumph. Since it was released in December, American Sniper has amassed over $300 million in the United States of America alone. And while there have been many naysayers; all of this attention has actually only helped to increase the film’s success. What's more, we may even see it attain a completely different level of success this weekend at the Academy Awards.