Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apocalypse Now: A Thought

In response to satyam's comments on Apocalypse Now on this thread, my response:

"That [i.e., Satyam's comment that "Apocalypse [Now] could have been a film about any war”] is precisely what I find troubling about this monumental, and monumentally flawed, achievement. Apocalypse Now re-inscribes a colonial problematic in the heart of the war film, that is to say, Vietnam here is simply the site for the self-discovery, the inner journey, of its American protagonists (principally the characters played by Sheen and Brando). It is not so much that the Vietnamese are absent from the film, as that they are irrelevant — this film could have been set anywhere, in any “third world country”, and that indifference to local context, hearkens to the narcissistic colonialism of the settlers who always saw land as “empty"..."

1 comment:

Fazal Majid said...

I thought the accepted view is that Apocalypse Now is a retelling of Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness". The original did not have any war references at all.