'American Sniper' film a success, but criticism prompts widow to limit interviews


The widow of the reputed deadliest sniper in American history is limiting interviews ahead of her Twin Cities' appearance in the wake of criticism of her late husband, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Kyle's bestselling memoir, "American Sniper," was the subject of a defamation case by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

The film based on the book just had a blockbuster weekend in cinemas around the country, raking in an estimated $105.3 million in the U.S. and Canada, Forbes reports. It has also been nominated for six Oscars.

But the movie has spurred a cultural debate, the Washington Post says.

Some praise the film for depicting the "truth" about American soldiers in a way not many other films have – while others criticize the fact Kyle has been dubbed a "hero," noting the pleasure he took in killing Iraqis. Kyle has also been criticized for "tales" he told of himself.

The USA Today reported the film's perceived "pro-war message" has been "bashed" by some in Hollywood, noting tweets sent by Michael Moore and Seth Rogen, who are no strangers to controversial films themselves.

Moore was more outspoken, posting to Facebook an explanation, in which he called snipers cowards (his uncle was killed by a sniper in World War II), noting the subject of this holiday weekend – Martin Luther King Jr. – was also killed by a sniper.

Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle's widow, had planned to give interviews this week ahead of her appearance at St. Louis Park's Beth El Synagogue, slated for Feb. 8, as part of the "Heroes Among Us" series.

But the Star Tribune says she canceled some interviews because of the recent criticism.

"Because of this, any questions related to the current murder trial [involving the U.S. veteran who is charged with killing Kyle at a Texas gun range in 2013 href="http://bringmethenews.com/2013/02/03/renowned-navy-seal-sued-by-jesse-ventura-fatally-shot-on-gun-range/"] and the Ventura trial are off the table," Sarah Gruber, the co-chair of the "Heroes Among Us" event, said in an email to the Star Tribune.

Taya Kyle has appealed the decision in the Ventura defamation case.

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