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'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'.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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