The problematic representation of conflict within the Vietnam War genre
AbstractThe aim of this dissertation is to analyse, discuss and critique a number of films depicting the Vietnam War, focusing on the scenes of conflict, the depictions of its effects on those directly involved, and its effects on American society as a whole. Chapter one focuses on the scenes of physical conflict, while chapter two concentrates on the depiction of psychological conflict. Representations that stand out as being decidedly one-sided, and those failing to offer a fair depiction of the war are scrutinized in order to reach a conclusion as to what the problematic representations consist of. In order to put the films into a social and historical context, information regarding the background to the war has been provided in the introduction, detailing the origins of the conflict, and the role of the US within it. It is through close textual analysis of primary film resources that I have reached my conclusions, supported by secondary research from book and journal sources. I have established that many of the films dealing with the war fail to present a fair depiction, and are guilty of presenting the US as simply heroes and victims in the war, failing to approach the difficult political and moral questions regarding US involvement. Many also concentrate on issues such as gender and sexuality rather than offering a credible critique of the war. As well as this, it has been established that the lack of representation of the Vietnamese civilians and the horrors they were subjected to, compromises the authenticity of the films' depictions, and leave for representations that I have found to be distinctly one-sided.
Duymun, Nawaz (2007) The problematic representation of conflict within the Vietnam War genre. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.