How was the film "Sergeant York" highly patriotic in spirit and why? And how did the film "Apocalypse Now" critisize American military and society in general, and why?

Essay by katelyn420College, UndergraduateA-, May 2007

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Being a Democratic society, we are allowed to express our opinions both positively and negatively against the government without being punished for our views. Movies are just another way for writers to express their opinions. When it comes to wars, as is currently the situation in Iraq, citizens are naturally divided on our country’s participation in a war that many do not feel directly affects them. If the writer’s view of the war is negative, he will create a film that is critical of both the military and society in general. If the writer favors the country’s participation in the war, he will usually make the film more patriotic in spirit.

An example of a film favoring the United States participation in WorldWar I is the movie Sergeant York. This movie follows the military career of Sergeant Alvin York, a real-life citizen who fought valiantly during World War I. By using a real person instead of some fictional character in the movie, the audience can be more empathetic with the sergeant.

What makes this person even more patriotic is the fact that he could have gotten out of being drafted into the military for his religious beliefs, but instead chose to fight. As a born-again Christian, Sergeant York had a hard time reconciling his religious beliefs with killing the enemy. However, by using his talent as a sharp-shooter, he was able to save many of his troops’ lives in battle. By emphasizing the good that came out of his marksmanship talent instead of the fact that he was killing people, the film appears to gloss over the loss of life and instead focus on the main character’s patriotism. Such a movie at the time was needed in order to pull the country together in the war effort. By using both...