Dear America Analysis - think it's better to fight and die...

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Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam recalls the Vietnam War in the words of the men and women who fought, in letters written in haste, without self-consciousness and, mostly, without pretense. These are read on the soundtrack by more than two dozen professional actors, some of whose voices are all too familiar, juxtaposed with Vietnam War film, much of which is new to many remain sad, and humbling. When the letters are read straight, with little attempt to dramatize their contents, the effect is very moving. When the actors or actresses attempt to ''act,'' the immediacy of the emotions becomes lost in their performance. The film's low point comes near the end when Ellen Burstyn is allowed to emote her way through a letter written by a mother to her dead son. This isn't even a letter home. Otherwise the film's letters successfully express the sort of intense feelings never intended to be spoken aloud. Sometimes the thoughts are ghostly, as when the once-official line is heard. One young man writes that he'd rather fight in Vietnam than in Kansas City, adding, ''I
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Unformatted text preview: think it's better to fight and die for freedom in 'Nam than live under oppression and fear.'' Another man says, ''One of the staggering facts is that most men here believe we will not win the war, and yet they stick their necks out every day and carry on as if they were fighting for the continental security of the United States.'' Still another says simply, ''I want to hold my head between my hands and run screaming away from here.'' One soldier is specific: ''I was carrying that thing'' - his leg - ''all the way back. I was afraid the whole damn thing would come off.'' The director and his associates have done a top-rate job. For the most part, they don't impose their own views of the war. They follow it chronologically, from the start in the 1960's until it ended in 1973, supplementing the letters with period of music, video clips from United States news programs and official statistics relating to the numbers of American troops involved and the casualties....
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2011 for the course COM 101 taught by Professor Dr.wilson during the Spring '11 term at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

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Dear America Analysis - think it's better to fight and die...

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