Saturday, February 12, 2011

Apocalypse Now: Helicopter Attack
(I wasn't able to find an embeddable video online, so this will have to do)

The helicopter attack scene in Apocalypse Now causes a lot of conflicting emotions in me. I am exhilarated, terrified, and disgusted all at the same time. The brutality of war is on full display in this scene, with random people left and right being shot down and bombed. But Wagner's music makes it exhilarating and awesome to behold. And since this scene and the movie as a whole is told firmly in the American point of view and through the eyes of American soldiers, it is harder for our feelings of sympathy for the Vietnamese to get in the way of the kinetic energy and excitement of the scene.

The chaos of the Vietnam War specifically is also evident in this scene. A Vietnamese woman who looks civilian at 6:30 is shown carrying a satchel of grenades into a helicopter and blows it up. She is quickly gunned down by Americans and Col. Kilgore, the insane soldier who orchestrated this whole attack, ironically comments, "F***king savages". The rules of war have broken down in Vietnam, even are civilians involved.

1 comment:

  1. Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" really makes that scene. It's impossible to not feel that the American soldiers are not on their way to partake in a legendary battle straight out of ancient mythology. It really makes the scene feel almost like a propaganda piece for the American military.


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