• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'We Were Soldiers' is a film that attempts to portray both sides of the conflict in Indo-China that became known in the West as the 'Vietnam War'.

Extracts from this document...


We were soldiers essay 'We Were Soldiers' is a film that attempts to portray both sides of the conflict in Indo-China that became known in the West as the 'Vietnam War'. After carefully analysing the film, it becomes apparent that this statement is essentially untrue. The film opens with a disembodied narrative from the voice of Joe Galloway, an American news reporter, sent over in the midst of the conflict to show the American people how men fought and died for their country. We hear him dedicate the story to all men who fought in the Vietnam War, from both sides. Implicitly, however the story is dedicated to the American men and the way in which the film is directed plays a part in conveying the Americans as righteous and patriotic and the Vietnamese as Ruthless and barbaric. Firstly, the way in which the camera shots are taken during American deaths compared to the way in which the Vietnamese deaths are shown makes us, as an audience feel compassionate towards the Americans. ...read more.


The scene is set in the middle of a dark field by a road. The lighting is very low and any light that is present comes from above. The camera is filming from below. When the American soldiers step into this light, it creates the effect of making the soldiers appear strong and tall. We never see the Vietnamese in a similar setting, possibly because they are already in the country in which the war takes place. This again makes the American soldiers seem stronger as they have to travel a vast distance from their homes. During the battle scenes we see Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) portrayed as an excellent leader, calm under pressure and a patriotic fighter, as well as having seen him shown as a good father in previous domestic scenes. However, as the battle progresses we see the Vietnamese Colonel only in a few scenes, and we learn nothing of his domestic life, this could lessen the audiences compassion for him, and his possible death may not affect us as greatly. ...read more.


When the only American-born Vietnamese soldier (fighting for the American side) is hit, a big issue is made of the fact that he was hit by friendly fire. However when the napalm bombs hit any Vietnamese soldiers, they do not get any comparable tribute paid to them; it is almost dismissed as being unimportant. The American-born Vietnamese soldier fighting for the Americans is paid particular attention to throughout the film, more so than many of the other soldiers, while this is not a racial issue, I feel that it reinforces the idea of the Vietnamese are the brutal enemy and suggests the fact that it may be novel for the Americans to be fighting with a Vietnamese person. In conclusion, I feel that the statement made at the beginning of the essay is for the most part untrue; while the film does in places attempt to convey both sides in the Vietnam War, the way in which the Americans are paid tribute far outweighs the negative way in which the Vietnamese soldiers are - after all, it is the victor that writes the history. Tom Clarkson 10-1 English ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. China's relationship with the West

    Eye-catching headlines were used, such as 'China warns West to shun dissidents'. In one article on this subject the journalist writes 'China, displaying an unyielding stance on human rights ...' Here the journalist is suggesting that China is refusing to act on the encouragement of Western countries to improve it's human rights.

  2. The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War

    By the end of the war 1000's of American soldiers had lost their lives (58,226 is the figure recorded). Countless more were injured (153,303 being the ruff estimate of wounded) bringing American casualties to a total of around 211,529. This was in a war many did not understand and feel the need for involvement in.

  1. Discuss the subplot to the film "The Three Kings", comment and analyse on the ...

    It does not appear that anything significant is happening, but then an Iraqi appears somewhere in the distance. The soldiers are all talking to each other, with such irrelevant conversations, such as "do you want some gum" "I think I got a grain of sand in there [his eye]" and one man is just seemingly staring into space.

  2. China's relationship with the West 1) ...

    The Tiananmen Square incident, instigated by Deng in 1989, raised huge uproar in China. On the anniversaries of this event many people affected by Deng's 'crackdown on pro-democracy protests' gathered to protest against the murder of thousands of students. These people, marked dissidents by China and victims by the USA, received huge sympathy from Western countries and human rights groups.

  1. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular ...

    The reason behind this because most people secretly liked the idea of containing communism. It reinforced their natural nationalism and patriotism. It was still conservative and made America out to be fully in charge. Then, the complete opposite of this nationalist reviving epic came about.

  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    In order to secure his own position he thus needed to make a clean break with the past and he therefore removed old Stalinists in order to establish his own power base. Sooner or later the truth about Stalin would come out and Khrushchev did not want to be held

  1. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in Contemporary Literature, Film and popular ...

    Images of war had the biggest impact on the public, as it was visual and very hard-hitting. They regarded them as absolutely atrocious and disturbing, thinking it an utter disgrace that the American army could contemplate doing such tasks, and to then actually carry out such tasks as burning down

  2. The Avro Arrow.

    Howe had insisted that Avro ". . . get the fighter into production at all costs. If that meant stopping work on the Jetliner, then so be it."2 Seen in this light it is unlikely that American pressure led to the decision to cancel the Jetliner.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work