Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vietnam in film.

The Vietnam war appears in many films, both as the focal point of the film, or as a sideline to the main story. My favourite film of all time is a film called Big Fish, in this you travel through the words of the main characters fathers stories, re-living his fantastical life. One of the stories his father tells is of his times in Vietnam, where he parachutes into the main Vietnamese camp to retrieve some documents in order to win the war. I think in this film it portrays the Americans as doing the right thing in the war, the vietnamese soldiers as evil and the vietnamese singers as willing and ready to help an American solider.

I think the way the war is portrayed in films is very important, as for people like myself who weren't alive during the war, it shapes our opinions on it. We'll all remember the depiction of the Vietnam war in Forest Gump (Well i hope you do!) whereas I'm sure not everyone was a clueless as Forest it shows how people fought in the war because they believed it to be right, whereas when they returned home they saw the massive protests that awaited them.

One of my favourite Vietnam war films is apocalypse now, based on a Novel I studied during my A-Level English, The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Although this book was one of the most difficult to read and was written a century before the Vietnam war, despite this Coppola decided to base most of the script on this novel. A novel about travelling through the Congo of Africa with the threat of the ever present 'natives' along the way. The likenesses between the novel and the realities of the Vietnam war fit perfectly and the fears held by the American government are very similar to the fears held by Marlow (the main character) of the Natives.

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