Charlie don't surf! : En studie av det postkoloniala perspektivet i amerikanska Vietnamkrigsfilmer

by Romanenko, Lars; Westerholm, Tomas

Abstract (Summary)
The aim of this study is to investigate six American Vietnam war films, and to study how western and oriental cultures are depicted from a postcolonial perspective. The descriptions of the Americans, the enemy and the South Vietnamese have been studied from this perspective. This is examined by drawing connections to theories and concepts such as semiotics and ideology as well as using methods such as discourse analysis, mise-en-scéne and film analysis. The study also investigates if there has been a change in the descriptions of the films when it comes to the postcolonial perspective. The research includes: The Green Berets, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now Redux, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and We Were Soldiers.The comprehensive research question is: How are those involved in the war and their cultures depicted in relation to each other in the analysed films?The results clearly point out the common theme; west and east are each others opposites and the audience sympathises with the American soldiers at most times. In three of the movies the Americans are thoroughly good people, but in the other three films the picture is somewhat ambiguous since here the Americans are good and evil as well as rational and irrational. Concerning the enemy, they are frequently described as faceless, primitive and brutal in all films, except in We Were Soldiers where they occasionally are depicted as human beings with feelings. The South Vietnamese people are portrayed as faceless and primitive in the films as well, and when they are visible, they usually are portrayed as victims. It is obvious that the postcolonial mirror exists in the discourse of all the analysed films, and that the ideological message with the western world as dominant and more civilised is reproduced. Furthermore, both connotations and mise-en-scéne are used to convey and strengthen the postcolonial message. The changes in the films occur above all within the Americans. To begin with, they are associated as good and next they become less good. Another example of change is that we get glimpses of how the enemy thinks and feels.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:08/01/2006

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