Movies on the Vietnam War

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The film Good Morning Vietnam and song Bui Doi give a seemingly accurate but slightly romanticised view of what the Vietnam War would have been like. The film addresses the negative and positive aspects of the war, whilst the song, Bui Doi, predominantly recalls negatives from the point of view of the American soldiers.

Listeners and viewers of the song and film learn about the mass devastation of the Vietnam War. This is in the form of environmental devastation, from Agent Orange, napalm and the advances in weapons and bombs. Thousands of people were exposed to a toxic chemical nicknamed “Agent Orange.” It was used by the American military in Vietnam to deprive the enemy of food and of hiding places in the jungles, by killing all vegetation. Babies born during this time were often deformed, some having no eye slits, or no arms, purely because of this toxic chemical. Many people in Vietnam are still exposed to the chemical, with the effects still damaging today. The Vietnam War introduced the world to new and improved weapons and bombs that were unheard of before this time. This particular war also brought devastation in the form of death and suffering. We are introduced to this in the film, when we see innocent Vietnamese die before our eyes. The song in particular showcases emotional devastation. It speaks of the Bui Doi, which in Vietnamese literally means, ‘the dust of life.’ The children were born from mothers impregnated by careless American soldiers. The half-caste children were then abandoned or put into orphanages by their mothers as they could no longer care for them with no father around. The soldiers thought that when they were home they wouldn’t ‘give a damn’ but they failed to realise that even though they had left Vietnam, the memories would never leave them. It is an emotive song that gives the listener a view of how it would have been leaving the Vietnam War for the soldiers who knew that they had left their child there, alone and abandoned....
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