Thursday, November 11, 2010

essay #2

Images of war can change a nation’s point of view of war.  Knowing your country is in a war is different from actually seeing your people die and get hurt, that might change the minds of a lot of people; especially family and friends of our soldiers. Imagine seeing your brother or father being brutally killed. That would change everything and how the whole society views war. There are pro and anti-war images but to be honest its hard to tell the difference. Two sources I've seen to study this ideology of how war images can be pro and anti war is the trailer to Iwo Jima and the film hearts and minds. These were perfect examples to show pro war and antiwar                                                                  
Watching the film “hearts and minds” honestly broke my heart.  To see the effects of war and the graphic images the film shows of death and sometimes even worst than death, being barely alive and practically dead. Seeing families destroyed by their losses, one part that truly touched me was seeing a mother driving into her son’s grave. I could almost feel her pain and grief. This film came as a shock to me because I had never seen footage this raw, everyone knows we are in a war but its almost as if Americans have become blind to what war really is and the damage it causes to people just like us. Then I start to think to myself, why we are shielded from these harsh images when in reality that’s what is really going on.  It is clear this film was made to promote anti-war emotions.
On the other hand I saw a trailer of the film “Iwo Jima” which practically promoted war and glorified it. The directors of this film made it seem like war was a traditional congratulatory thing. It gave you an illusion of the classic case of a wife waiting at home for you and showed no brutality. In fact in this film you only saw Americans and it did not even show the other side. The background music while they were dropping bombs in this film was made to be heroic, patriotic, and exciting. In reality there should be nothing patriotic heroic or exciting about dropping bombs and killing innocent people just like you and me.
Although both films are about war they are completely different.  You can tell after watching both, both directors wanted you to feel a certain type of way about war. Whether it be pro or anti feelings. One focused on the damage, wrong doing and negative effects of course making anyone feel terrible about war. The other movie illustrating the excitement of it all and the pride that comes with war. Another thing I noticed was one movie focused more on the civilians and who it affected and the other concentrated more on a young soldier’s point of view.
My professor tells me everything were seeing has been shown on the news and I cannot believe it! I have never seen anything that graphic on the news, people living surrounded by death, beyond doubt I know NBC CBS NY1 CNN or ABC would not show the things I saw in the film. I understand completely why they wouldn’t show this these days on television; Americans would go crazy just like they did during the Vietnam War. I believe the anti-war movement would be even more powerful now than the one at that time. This is the opposite of what the government wants obviously so they hide what is really going on. I see this film and no longer wonder why soldiers come home with mental illnesses, who wouldn’t? I feel scared from just watching it on a screen in my classroom; imagine what it must feel like to live through it.
These films were extremely powerful and I suppose did serve there purpose. Before this I had a complete different image in my head of war. I pictured a bunch of good soldiers put somewhere to fight and only hurt the bad guys, this is what we are taught to believe. After seeing the film “hearts and minds” I will never think that way ever again. We also have to think about the time period “Iwo Jima” was made in; showing gory blood scenes and death was not expectable at that time. Funny how it’s almost as if we are going backwards in time and things that weren’t expectable in society before have changed. Things are less liberal again, the perfect example being what media is able to expose about war now at days. I’m waiting for a hearts and minds to come out about the war in Iraq to see how powerful a movie like that can change the mentality of people involved and observing the war.

1 comment:

  1. Great start - keep working on moving to more formal, written language and bring in more specific examples, including when you discuss what you have (and haven't) seen on television during this war.