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Analysis of film Clear and Present Danger in relation to the 1980-90's War on Drugs era and Colombian instability - Essay Example

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In Jack Ryan, author Tom Clancy created a character that was heavily involved in the events of the post-cold war time period, including the events that took place during the Columbian Drug War…
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Analysis of film Clear and Present Danger in relation to the 1980-90s War on Drugs era and Colombian instability
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Download file to see previous pages The film starred Harrison Ford, Willem Defoe, Anne Archer, Joachim de Almeida, and Henry Czerny, with important appearances by James Earl Jones and Donald Moffat. Hope Lange and Dean Jones, stars from another era, both made appearances as officials in the government. The film was directed by Philip Noyce with the adaptation written by Donald Stewart .1 The film revolves around the temporary appointment of Ryan as Deputy Director of Intelligence for the CIA when Admiral James Greer becomes ill with cancer. Quickly the action ratchets up as one of the President’s friends is murdered along with the friend’s family. As Ryan is called in to investigate he is embroiled in an intrigue of subterfuge and secrecy. He is used to present false facts to Congress in order to cover up an operation that is considered unethical. An action against the men who were involved in the murder ends badly, leaving the covert troups hanging in the wind and Ryan furious for the inappropriate and illegal action for which he has now been set up to take responsibility. In the end, Jack Ryan steps up and goes in after the troops with the agent who believed that Ryan was responsible for the cut-off in communications, rescuing the troops and making a political statement about the nature of right and wrong. The film is reflective of many of the unclear and shadowed legacies of the events of President Ronald Reagan’s term in office. In one scene, Robert Ritter and Jack Ryan have a showdown about the events that Ritter approved but burdened Ryan with the responsibility. Ritter repeats twice that Ryan will have to say “I have no recollection” when he will supposedly have to face congress about the illegal events.2 At the end of the scene, Ritter shouts after Jack “The world is grey, Jack”, a theme of the time period when drugs were part of the foreign relations events.3 During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the Iran-Contra affair was rife with declarations of a lack of memory or knowledge of the events by the President and others presumed involved. Former Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North might be a real life figure who is represented by Jack Ryan. Regardless of knowledge of the events, he was the central figure indicted on charges from the fall-out of the exposure of the Iran-Contra deal, but was able to portray for the cameras a patriot with a wholesome appearance.4 While this comparison to North is not strictly representative of the truth of North’s involvement (a truth that may never be fully revealed to history), the potential threat against Ryan through Ritter parallels the feeling of the event. The period of President Reagan’s term and the events of covert and illegal deals is the universe and period of time in which the film takes place. The events of the film are a parallel to the concept of backroom deals and covert operations of a nefarious and illegal nature that were the topic of literary and film plots of the 1980s and 1990s. The legacy of the Vietnam War, as President Nixon’s administration covertly moved troops into Cambodia is reflected through the illegal movement of troops within the film.5 The intrigue and conspirator themes about a government that cannot be trusted is the underlying context on which the story of the film is constructed. The specific theme of the film is built upon the relationship that the United States had with Columbia and the Columbia drug cartels. The unfortunate state of affairs in Columbia was based upon a system that supported the sale of drugs into the United States. Columbia had shifted its economy from one based on tobacco and coffee to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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