Post Vietnam War Films
With the end of the Vietnam war in 1975, the American film industry underwent a dramatic change in the treatment of the war in film. Previously, filmmakers had been unable to adequately express the climate of America while at war with Vietnam, whilst the country was suffering from political and social unrest, Hollywood largely ignored the events that shook American society throughout the Vietnam War.
The end of the 1970's marked the beginning of the changing attitudes in Hollywood towards the war, films like Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter started to question and challenge the moral implication of the war on society at large. Films began to expose the actions and consequences of the war on American and also on Vietnam and the Vietnamese themselves.
Into the 1980's films were exploring the atrocities that occurred during the long and bloody war and also conveyed the extent of the rebellion that was happening in the states against the war itself. The youth of America who protested against the war and began to effect change within the country became a key element in post war narratives. The Government was challenged and the Military judged, patriotism was no longer enough to gloss over the true horror of the Vietnam War and during the late 1970's and into the 1980's, film was used as a vehicle for expression, acting as a social conscience, film exposed all the ugly truths.
Films in the 1980's began to question the fundamental moral consequences of war, patriotism was no longer the motivating theme instead characterisation became key and the effect on the individual propelled the narrative. Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and Rambo were all films guided by a shaking belief in the ideology of war pre/during Vietnam. The unflinching and harrowing effects were now a principle motivator as the devastating effects on the individual and allegorically the effects on the social conscience at large.