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Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth -Ecclesiastes.

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Presentation on theme: "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth -Ecclesiastes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth -Ecclesiastes

2 “The first casualty of war is innocence” -Unknown

3 “Hell is the impossibility of reason”

4 Warfare Battle scenes, cinematography, and location recreate the Vietnam War better than any other attempt by a filmmaker Director Oliver Stone chose to shoot combat scenes in a 360 degree fashion to give the feeling that the enemy was hidden and widely dispersed

5 Warfare Stone never clearly exposed enemy forces (NVA or Vietcong) on the film and always made their appearance seem distant and in the shadows The enemy was moved very quickly in and out of the camera frame in much the way that they did in the combat that was typical of the Vietnam War

6 Warfare Stone effectively re-created guerilla warfare by displaying the problems with the Vietcong and NVA forces use of mines, booby-traps, and intricate tunnel networks These psychological pressures created by these conditions were made clearly evident by how they effected the soldiers and influenced their actions/inaction

7 The “Grunts” The actors that composed this particular company resembled most that were in Vietnam:  many held an ethnocentric worldview  disproportionately came from poor and working class backgrounds  were confused and disillusioned by the war and simply held a common goal of “survival”

8 The “Grunts” and Drug Use Drug use was prevalent (especially Marijuana) Usually half of a platoon would use drugs on a regular basis The film portrays this division with one half at a smoking party and the other half at drinking party Along with racial background, this was one of the most divisive social factors in “grunt life”

9 War Crimes This was the most controversial and debated part of the film and the war “Fragging” – the murder of senior officers with hand grenades (became general term used to refer to any military murder)  Chris Taylor threatens to “frag” Barnes  Barnes killed Elias to cover-up civilian killing  Taylor kills Barnes at the end

10 War Crimes Rape of civilians (Dye’s disagreements) Murder of civilians (Was My Lai an exception?) The Village scene accurately shows the pressures and inability of U.S. troops to identify the “enemy”

11 War Crimes “Search and Destroy” = official U.S. policy to search for V-C and to burn all villages suspected to harbor, aid, or be sympathetic to the Vietcong Bunny and the “Zippo Squad” at the Village The “Body Count” = Civilian casualties were often included in the body count to boost numbers to make it seem like the United States was winning the war (My Lai was reported as a successful encounter with many Vietcong casualties)

12 Other Accurate Qualities Oliver Stone (Dir. and screenwriter) is a Vietnam combat veteran Dale Dye (Captain Harris) was the film’s technical consultant. He served 22 years in the Marine Corps and is a Vietnam combat veteran Stone and Dye put the actors through a rigorous two week training session in the Philippines to simulate boot camp, combat conditions, and “grunt life”

13 Inaccuracies The use of marijuana in the bush Talking on patrol Racial and social relationships among the “grunts”

14 Criticisms Veterans claimed that war crimes and abuse of civilians were aberrations and were not the status quo The “Right” saw it as left-wing propaganda and a complete distortion of America’s role in Vietnam The “Left” complained that the film was too narrowly focused and it failed to address the politics and reasoning behind U.S. involvement in Vietnam Many saw the metaphysical battle between good (Elias) and evil (Barnes) as heavy- handed, simplistic, cliché

15 Messages In 1986 this film was hailed and hated It was perceived to be deeply critical of the Vietnam War Today it is viewed as the truth behind the Vietnam War and a criticism of ‘war’ itself It changed the “war movie” and fundamentally changed the way that Americans looked at not only the Vietnam War and the Vietnam veteran, but also war itself and veterans of previous wars


17 Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger)

18 Sgt. Elias (Willem Defoe)

19 Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen)

20 Bunny (Kevin Dillon)

21 Oliver Stone (Chris Taylor)

22 Sgt. O’Neil (John C. McGinley)

23 Lieutenant Wolfe (Mark Moses)

24 Dale Dye (Captain Harris)

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