Friday, 4 March 2016

The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War and the 1980s:
The thoughts and attitudes towards the Vietnam War during the 1980s were rather negative. There were many protests and marches in the United States during the 1970s, many were organised by students. The main purpose of these marches and protests were to stop the Vietnam War from continuing, because many Americans believed that the war was not achieving anything. This then led to a negative view of the war during the 1980s, which is often shown through film and fiction.

The Memorial:
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built in 1982, and it is to remember the veterans of the Vietnam War who were either killed or are missing. This suggests that during the 1980s, there was a lot of mixed feelings towards the war and how to best remember the impact on American lives it had. Firstly, the memorial is to stand as a symbol of the courage and work of the people who fought the Vietnam War. Yet it is also to represent the people who were lost as a result of the war taking place.

Film and the Vietnam War:
Throughout history, the film industry had always represented the United States and the war in a positive light. It showed people how important fighting and engaging in wars worldwide were, whilst also honouring those who fought too. This was apparent in regard to both World War I and World War II.  However, this changed when the United States began the Vietnam War, providing a rather negative or neutral representation on war and the United States, within the film industry. This is somewhat predictable, because many Americans' thoughts on the Vietnam War were negative, so this is reflected in the film, as well as in American culture as well.    

Rambo First Blood Two (1985): - Rambo First Blood Two (1985)

This film is about a man in prison, who is offered a deal. He accepts, and his task is to travel to Vietnam to find and rescue the American prisoners of war. If he does this then his criminal record will be forgotten. He must not get involved in the Vietnam War action, and just do what he is suppose to do. However, this changes, and he does get involved and take matters into his own hands.

A comment from Deep Focus Review states, 'It’s ironic that Reagan would praise a movie that ultimately calls him a back-stabbing official, but that was politics in the 1980s.' This in interesting, because it suggests that the film was a good representation of the Vietnam War during the 1980s, because it highlighted the attitudes and accomplishments of soldiers fighting in the war.

The film provided the notion that the Vietnam War was achieving something and was not a waste of time. Yet the overall belief at the time in the United States was that the Vietnam War was not worth getting involved in at all. Interestingly, 'Rambo' is suppose to represent American values and ideology, as well as the Americans fighting in Vietnam, who are considered and best known for their abilities and efforts when fighting other nations.

The reason Ronald Reagan was congratulating the films efforts, was because he thought that the main character, 'Rambo', was an example of the American soldiers efforts whilst fighting the Vietnam War. Moreover, the film not only shows how the 1980s represented the Vietnam War through film, but also in various other aspects as well, such as politics.
Grace La Traille


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