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Casualties of War - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# An Analysis and Review of De Palma’s “Casualties of War” De Palma’s 1989 film, “The Causalities of War”, represents one of the last and perhaps most effective the Vietnam antiwar films that were released in the 25 years after the conclusion of the Vietnam War…
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Casualties of War

Download file to see previous pages... It is the hope of this author that not only the film, but the Vietnam War as well as pervasive American interpretations of the value of native and indigenous people will help to be affected. Ultimately, the movie can be summarized, as with many Vietnam War movies, as concentric upon an analysis of a small squad of American soldiers. This is one of the most popular approaches that filmmakers take due to the fact that it allows the viewer the, acquainted with and personally knowledgeable regarding each of the characters; rather than integrating with an entire company, the viewer is able to simplify human emotions, personalities, and likely reactions based upon the means by which these characters are expected to behave. As with many other Vietnam War movies, “Casualties of War” represents a mixture of different individuals within the squad from various geographic regions as well as various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Firstly, the viewer is integrated with an understanding of the sheer misery, abstraction, and violence that the Vietnam conflict engendered. As a function of understanding this level of inhumanity, exhibited on both sides of the conflict, it unfortunately comes as little surprise that the soldiers themselves begin behaving as little more than animals. The line of no return is of course cross when one of the soldiers takes a young Vietnam means girl and suggests that the squad user as a sex toy. Even though this is initially resisted, the threat of violence subdues these objections long enough for the girl to be raped. Once she is raped, it becomes infinitely easier for the other members of the squad, with the exception of Erikkson, to engage in a similar behavior. At each and every juncture, Erikkson opposes the actions that the squad leader perpetrates upon the young girl. Ultimately, Erikkson risks his own life in an attempt to save the girl from being murdered by the squad members. Once she is murdered, Erikkson set out on a personal crusade to expose the crime to the superiors within the military. As one might expect, speaking truth to power was neither popular nor safe. After many months and years of trying, Erikkson was able to bring the issue to the military’s attention and seek a nominal degree of punishment for the individuals involved. With regards to understanding the underlying tensions that existed between Meserve and Erikkson, the viewer can and should integrate with the basic understanding of unrestrained selfishness and complete lack of respect for human life that Meserve exhibited as compared to Erikkson’s more traditional view. Rather than exhibiting all Vietnam veterans as baby killers and murderers, this film helps to differentiate the difference between those sociopaths in society that were drafted into the military and sought to further their own selfish ends as compared to individuals that retain a level of humanity and restraint regardless of the pressures and difficulties that combat placed upon them. A further dynamic is equally evidenced within the film is the level and extent to which the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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