By Patricia Keeton
No different cinematic style extra sharply illustrates the contradictions of yankee society - notions approximately social type, politics, and socio-economic ideology - than the battle movie. This publication examines the most recent cycle of warfare movies to bare how they mediate and negotiate the complexities of warfare, classification, and a military-political venture mostly long gone undesirable.
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Extra resources for American War Cinema and Media since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class
Within six years after the war ended in Vietnam in April 1975, President Reagan wasted no time in getting the US military back into action. He launched what became known as “Low Intensity Conflicts” (actions just short of all-out war) in a host of countries. America intervened, sometimes covertly, more than 50 times in a score of countries, in Latin America (beginning in 1981 in El Salvador), the Sinai (in 1982), and Lebanon (1982). After Reagan, George Bush Sr. invaded Panama (“Operation Just Cause”) in 1989 and Iraq (“Desert Storm,” the first Gulf War) in 1991 as wars of liberation aimed at freeing Panama and Kuwait from brutal dictators, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein respectively.
It is not surprising that, given the third-world location of American wars, the resisting natives (also called the insurgents, the terrorists, or simply the bad guys) would be marginalized one way or another. In Black Hawk Down, Somalian militiamen were repeatedly addressed as “skinnies” and portrayed as howling masses with no concern for their own lives, let alone for those of any civilians still alive. Cinematically all this is reinforced by the FPS war video game perspective of many of the combat scenes and the attention given to the high tech gear of the modern US soldier.
Nothing— and after suffering hardships, year in, year out, staking my life on the mortal risks of war. (Homer 1990: lines 383–390) The accusations of Thersites and Achilles—the most humble and the greatest of the Greek warriors—have resonated ever since, both in literature and in film. War and Politics in Shakespeare The acts of subversion evidenced by Thersites and Achilles echoed not only in the early epics and plays of ancient Greece, but equally also in another Th e Wor k e r a s Wa r r ior 25 great period in Western literature.
American War Cinema and Media since Vietnam: Politics, Ideology, and Class by Patricia Keeton