Thursday, 10 March 2016


Lasting from November 1st 1955 and ending on April 30th 1975 this brutal conflict spanned twenty and 3 decades, the fifties, sixties and seventies. Of course this means the war is not simply going to drop out of contemporary existence and will eventually make it's way in to popular culture. this happened during the eighties with a number of war related films being released. Films such as Platoon (1986), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Rambo II (1985), Good Morning Vietnam (1987) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989) all present different representation, views and aspects of the Vietnam war. This is turn can be found to show that there were mixed reactions to the Vietnam war.

At the time of the war there were many protests about how unjust the war was and how it should be ended. Moving into the eighties however, the concerns were less with the morality of the war and more on the missing in action and prisoners of war. As seen with Rambo II this influenced popular culture, Rambo was depicted as attempting to go and retrieve some of the men who had not been accounted for. Contrastingly in a film that is not as unbelievable or over-glorified as Rambo, Ful Metal Jacket deals with a different reaction to the war, insanity.

Many of the war veterans suffered from PTSD, and there were also alarming numbers of suicides, as we were shown with Pyle's murder-suicide in FMJ. The estimated number of veterans suffering from PTSD was over 1.5 million and the estimated number of suicides exceeded 100,000. This shows just how brutal the conflict must have been and have no doub that PTSD is a reaction to the war and it will have affected most of the veterans most harshly throughout the eighties, but it will have continued into the nineties and even today. Groups and organisations were set up across the country for example, VietNow, began in 1982 and is a way of veterans helping other veterans to help resolve issues.

To sum up, the eighties saw a number of influences and reactions to the Vietnam war. This came in many different ways, shapes and sizes. American firms lobbied for more efficient extraction of MIA/POW soldiers from vietnam and of the 2500+ that were unaccounted for, it is estimated that only over a thousand have been located and returned home, there is the belief that many of these missing men are still alive in Vietnam. PTSD effected millions of solders and still does today, as portrayed within contemporary culture of the time through movies and other media.


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