The Otherness in Apocalypse Now

“The real ‘enemy’ the Americans were fighting was themselves,’ (2010). Apocalypse Now not only portrays a view about the Vietnam War that mostly affected the mind of the soldiers, it also portrays how much insanity and murder surrounded it. Horror in every form, explicit massacre, and a complete nightmare. The ‘other’ is the not knowing feature of what will happen to them. The unpredictable outcome of moving along the river without knowing what they’re destined to. Personally I can describe this movie as intense because I was a little nervous about what was going to happen next. Even in the part when we see Chef and Willard walking in the jungle in search of mangos and they hear a noise, thinking it could be a Vietnamese, when in fact it was a tiger. Their lives were filled with the unpredictable.

Themes of otherness best portrayed in the movie were also the idea that in order to come home you only had two options; dying or winning the war. The film’s voyage through the river takes us into several events where we see many Vietnamese dying, U.S. soldiers dying, helicopters destroyed, flames everywhere, people in pieces, kids running, crying, hurt, bleeding, burned, women and men shot at. Death surrounds everybody. There was no winning only death.


Richardson, M. (2010). Otherness in Hollywood Cinema. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

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