Disarming Baghdad: The Most Dangerous Army Job?

Jeremy Renner in 'The Hurt Locker' i i

Jeremy Renner plays the bold and brave Staff Sgt. James, member of an elite U.S. Army bomb squad. Summit Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption Summit Entertainment
Jeremy Renner in 'The Hurt Locker'

Jeremy Renner plays the bold and brave Staff Sgt. James, member of an elite U.S. Army bomb squad.

Summit Entertainment

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal join Fresh Air to talk about their film The Hurt Locker. Set in Baghdad, the movie follows the story of three men who are part of the Army's bomb unit, charged with the task of disarming IEDs and other roadside bombs.

Boal, who also works as a freelance journalist, was embedded with such a unit in 2004. The first-time screenwriter reflects on the challenges of finding IEDs, the expertise required to dismantle them and the anxiety-producing experience of not knowing who to trust or where the next bomb will blow.

Bigelow, whose past films include Point Break, Blue Steel, and Strange Days, points to the challenges of shooting explosion scenes in the middle of the Jordanian capital city of Amman — where much of the movie was filmed — and how to translate the horrific realities of the bomb squad's job on the big screen.

The Hurt Locker won four awards at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and is currently out on DVD.

This interview was originally broadcast on June 24, 2009.

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