David O Russell’s intelligent, cinematically thrilling adventure, set in the aftermath of the Gulf War, needed a flat, blasted landscape to represent the featureless wastes of ‘Iraq’.

The opening scene is a dry lake bed outside Mexicali, Mexico, but most of the film was shot in Arizona.

It was made at the abandoned Sacaton Copper Mine, on Bianco Road, about six miles northwest of Casa Grande, between Tucson and Phoenix, where chemical poisoning had wiped out any vegetation. The ‘Iraqi’ villages were constructed on plateaux left after the extraction of the mineral ore.




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