The Hurt Locker
We look at the politics behind the success of the low-budget war film.
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2010 12:24 GMT

The 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles was, as ever, the scene of both surprises and predictability. Most of the odds-on favorites took the major prizes, with victories for Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock in the best acting categories.

But the real drama of the night was over Best Picture. James Cameron's mammoth blockbuster - Avatar - was tipped by many to sweep the floor with its rivals.

But in a David and Goliath moment, it was the low budget war movie - The Hurt Locker - that surprised many by taking the most prestigious awards of the night.

Set in Iraq, the film follows a team of bomb disposal experts. It has made around $22mn at the box office - compared with Avatar's $2.5bn.

It cost a fraction of Avatar's production budget, but while Avatar won three awards including Best Visual Effects, The Hurt Locker took six Oscars. Among them, Best Picture and Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman in Academy Award history to take the prize.

Inside Story asks: What are the politics behind the success of The Hurt Locker and how has a low-budget war film triumphed over the single most popular movie of all time?

Michael Bonner, the associate editor of UNCUT magazine, MJ Rosenberg from the Media Matters Action Network, and Richard Fitzwilliams, a film critic and former editor of Who's Who, join the show.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

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