The Hollywood War Film Analysis

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Movies do not only entertain, they influence. They influence people’s views starting from everyday matters to their general outlook on serious issues such as politics or war. Movies both reflect and have an impact on societies. Hollywood has been one of the key players in giving ideas to the viewers of their films about certain topics and the United States is one of the main audiences. Films not only represent a way of art; they are major mass communication devices that can be viewed in the comfort of home. Much of modern culture is defined and transmitted by movies.
1.1. Thesis Paragraph
The United States’ military has been involved in several conflicts on international and on US soil over the last decades therefore, portraying the army
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There has been a trend in recreating the most famous wars on the big screen. Several films try to capture historical conflicts such as wars and show the different sides with relating messages. Robert Eberwein starts introducing film history in his book, The Hollywood War Film, in a chronological order starting from the Civil War until Iraq and the War on Terror (14-42). Several critiques, film historians gave a definition to what a war film is . The answer depends on whom one is reading according to Eberwein (42). According to the same book, “some writers define it in relation to particular wars and narrative situations, while others position it in terms of different genres” (42). Most popular war movies are about the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the most recent conflicts in Iraq. These films include: Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone with the Wind (1939), Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Enemy at the Gates (2001), Pearl Harbor (2001) Jarhead (2005) and several…show more content…
Popular culture likes to treat ex-soldiers, marines as PTSD-afflicted (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), damaged people who have a difficult time adjusting to the norms of society when they return. A range of veterans advocates are pushing to diversify that picture (Merry). The GI Film Festival (GIFF) is eager to show films that are rather accurate and realistic in portraying soldiers and combat. The organization introduces itself as “a non-profit educational organization dedicated to sharing the military experience in and out of the arena of war. The festival is the first in the nation to exclusively celebrate the successes and sacrifices of the service member through the medium of film” on their website (gifilmfestival.com). The military community argues that the cinema offerings that attempt to portray soldiers and veterans in a sympathetic way such as the American Sniper (2015) end up “breeding harmful stereotypes” even at a time when only 0.5 percent of the population is on active duty (Merry). In an interview, Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain who did multiple tours in Vietnam but became a technical adviser and made a career of it in Hollywood
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