War and its aftermath are inevitable and for the most part affect citizens and also strain relations between countries. An example of major historic war between nations is the First World War, Second World War and the cold war. These wars were a major set-back to the world at large and huge losses were also incurred. This paper will examine two films about war: “Dr. Strange Love” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The paper addresses films’ setting, plot, major themes talked about in the film and how international relations were affected between the countries.
Dr. Strangelove is a comic movie about war between the USA and the Soviet Union. It was produced in 1964 and it is based on a real book; Red Alert. Its setting is in the USA and Russian war zones. The movie begins when General Ripper orders that hydrogen bombs be dropped in the Soviet Union so that they could wipe out the whole country and avoid their retaliation. He does this without the knowledge of the president, who is supposed to order such. When the president hears this, he calls one Russian ambassador then they call the Russian premier. He apologizes for this but the premiere reveals to him that they have a nuclear bomb in waiting should the hydrogen bomb attack them. General Ripper kills himself while the army tries to recover the recall code of the hydrogen bombs. However, one of Ripper’s officers recovers the code and it’s sent to the bombers except one who doesn’t get the information because of spoilt radio machine. He goes ahead and drops the bomb and the Soviet Union also triggers their nuclear bomb and the world is destroyed.
A number of themes are addressed in this film.For instance, nationalism and prejudice. This is shown by the mixed racial team in the USA plane. They work tirelessly for their country and Major Kong also tells them that they will all be awarded equally regardless of race or color. Another theme is war and sex. For instance, sex, penis and ejaculation are metaphoric to the hydrogen bombs being produced by the USA army. Sex is also considered a secondary want by the people in war. Theme gender is brought out well. This is where women are not allowed in war and they are only viewed as sex toys by the men. For instance the lady Friday who is pictured as a call girl to General Turgidson. The men in the camp are also in agreement about Turgidson view that ratio of women to men is ten to one. This shows that they use women just for enjoyment. Communication and technology are of importance in the war and helps the different camps in proper planning of the war. For instance, lack of it led the lone bomber to drop the hydrogen bomb. General Ripper also ordered the hydrogen bombing on Russia without prior communication from the president and this led to the world being destroyed in the end.
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The second film: All Quite on the Western Front was first written as a book and produced as a film in 1930. Its setting is on the German war zone. It talks about six soldiers who are friends’ and fight for the German side. The story is mainly about Paul B%u1EA3umer who joins the German army at the age of nineteen. It describes his life as a soldier, the difficult conditions he undergoes. When Paul returns to his town for leave, he feels he does not belong there. He goes back to the camp where he has his first experience killing a man. The story develops and his friends die and in end he also dies.
The soldier’s psychology is one theme well talked about. For instance Paul describes how the soldiers survive psychologically, whereby they have to forget everything and just occupy their mind with what’s important. He also describes how living as a soldier is hard and the emptiness he fills when he visits his town. The theme of comradeship is also talked about. For instance, when Paul is hiding himself in the trench, afraid to get out and go to war. He then hears his friend’s voice from a distance and gets out of the hole. This gives him the reassurance and courage to face the war because they are together. This book; about world war one implies about the strained relations there was between the countries on the eastern and western front. Because there was war, definitely their relations were strained.
In conclusion, war affects not only lives of people but also strains relations between countries and also affects the soldiers who fight in the war. It is therefore important for incidences of war to be averted as much as possible. “Dr. Strange Love” and “All Quiet on the Western Front” are richly built films with important themes addressed relevant even to the present society.
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