Casualties Of War Analysis

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Casualties of War is based on Daniel Lang’s news report on the Incident on Hill 192 in 1966 during the Vietnam War. In the movie, a five-man squad led by Sergeant Meserve kidnaps and rapes a Vietnamese girl named Than, regardless of the protagonist, Eriksson’s objection. Eriksson tries to rescue the girl, but the squad eventually kills her. Going through various obstacles, Eriksson manages to send the four men into court-martial, where they are sentenced to jail. The movie ends with Eriksson’s chance encounter with a Vietnamese-American girl who resembles Than, suggesting that he still cannot forget the wartime experience. The movie overall effectively conveys the ruthless nature of war and wartime sexual violence by presenting numerous…show more content…
The movie starts with Eriksson being trapped into a VC tunnel and saved by Meserve. In reality, however, Meserve never rescued Eriksson. The adaptation is understandable, as it reveals the inequality of their relations. Eriksson holds a lower rank and owes Meserve a favour, which dramatizes the later scenes in which Meserve goes mad at Eriksson when finding him trying to return the girl to her village, and Captain Hill tells Eriksson not to ruin the life of Meserve who has once rescued him. This scene further shows that Meserve, who cares for his comrades, is not a merciless person, forming a great contrast with his inhumane treatment of the girl. The dehumanization of the Vietnamese is further stressed by the scene in a village where the squad is attacked by the VC and one of the soldiers is killed. Seeing their friend dying, Meserve and other soldiers express their hatred for the Vietnamese. Considering the Vietnamese as their sworn enemy, the soldiers take their kidnapping and rapping the girl as almost natural avenging actions, which shows the loss of humanity during the
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