392.1CMCL - Christopher Webb CMCL 392 Media Genres...

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Christopher Webb CMCL 392: Media Genres Professor Segal October 2, 2011 Dear America, Who Am I? Bill Couturie's documentary "Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam" (1987), gives a voice to the America soldiers through the use of their letters but it seemed dramatized. The documentary’s use of actors to speak for those soldiers through their letters demonstrates Ruby’s concept of “speaking for” and “speaking about” rather than “speaking with”. Couturie seem want to be honest yet fell short on his promise to make this documentary sincere. Couturie didn’t honor the fallen American soldiers correctly and his perception was too “Hollywood” in a sense. Pertaining to Earle’s concepts of “realism”, does Couturies perception of what he feels the soldiers felt was addressed in correct manner by the actors. The film started off boasting it’s Hollywood star power in the introductory credits with some well- known and established actors and actresses. The film and its producer seem to have their eyes set on making profit, wondering about the integrity of the film and the actors/actresses definition of originality. The intentions of the film seem to not resonate with the concepts of traditional documentary nor did it seem sincere about the main objective as outlined by Ruby. According to Ruby, what seem to be a clear in the film was that they these stars, were the catalyst to make these soldiers seem like articulate heroes yet it wasn’t sincere. It seemed as though Couturie, was trying to “speak for” Vietnam soldiers, yet with no Vietnam soldiers present, it couldn’t be sincere, making it very subjective.
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392.1CMCL - Christopher Webb CMCL 392 Media Genres...

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