After earning the moniker “America’s deadliest sniper” for his many kills in Iraq, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (1974-2013) re-entered civilian life back in Texas only to be gunned down by a young combat vet he was trying to help. Featuring a single take shot by the artist of Kyle’s laying to rest at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, SNIPER'S BURIAL is an authentic view of the SEAL mourning ritual of pinning Tridents on the deceased’s casket. A necessary antidote to the Hollywood blockbuster “American Sniper” directed by Clint Eastwood, Koebel’s no-budget personal cinema searches for a deeper understanding of geopolitics and the permanent war phenomenon. Like Bruce Conner’s “Report” (1963-1967), it is a “meditation on violence.”

Funded in part by the Austin Film Society and the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund.

  • Caroline Koebel
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 25, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Incursions Into Cosmic Fear, solo exhibition, Young Projects
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    June 5, 2015
  • Other Cinema
    San Francisco, CA
    United States
    May 30, 2015
  • Experiments in Cinema Festival
    Albuquerque, NM
    United States
    April 19, 2015
  • Experimental Cinema of Aesthetics and Politics, John Cabot University
    July 29, 2014
Distribution Information
  • Caroline Koebel
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Caroline Koebel

Caroline Koebel makes experimental cinema clashing aesthetics and politics. She’s had retrospectives at Festival Cine//B (Santiago), Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw), Directors Lounge (Berlin), and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo), and in 2015 Young Projects in Los Angeles ran her solo show Incursions Into Cosmic Fear. She’s written catalog essays on Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer, and Andres Tapia-Urzua, and has also published in Brooklyn Rail, Jump Cut, OtherZine, and the Swedish journal OEI. She’s taught such workshops as “Looking for Foxes: Wild Urbanity” and “Alienation Effect: We Get Brecht” in Berlin for Transart Institute.

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Director Statement

SNIPER'S BURIAL riffs on the formalism of the military uniform (and culture and ethos) and is cognizant of the visual languages of Third Reich director Leni Riefenstahl on the one hand and minimalist / structural / flicker / avant-garde film (e.g., Peter Kubelka, Paul Sharits, Tony Conrad) on the other. The soundtrack samples eclectic sources, from the Village People and Daft Punk to Kyle’s widow’s National Rife Association speech and US military promotional videos. Curtis Mayfield’s “Get Down” from a 1971 “Soul Train” episode poses a utopian counter-narrative to the dominant theme of the military industrial complex. The ongoing project VIEWING BLIND mines the gap between politics and aesthetics for novel and meaningful ways to engage issues of power, representation, subjectivity, and democracy.