How Cinema Imagines War

So many films, be it through nationalistic fervour or propaganda, glamourise, glorify and normalise the promotion of war. Assess the extent to which popular war films engage with the reality of conflict and what agenda this serves.

  • Could you clarify what you mean by "agenda?" Are we talking about directors and screenwriters consciously appropriating nationalist imagery into their war scenes? I feel like this could branch out much further than war movies - what about the Marvel movies ("Civil War" reflecting the dividedness of the US populace, etc.)? I totally agree that war has been glamorized, but what sort of war? Historically based conflicts like Saving Private Ryan? Narnian creatures swinging axes? Romanticized events (The Patriot)? I assume you definitely mean the last kind, but it might need clarification. If an article was written about this topic, I would certainly read it. – Dillon Raborn 6 years ago
  • The agenda served by war is that creative expression in TV, film and plays maintain audience interest through conflict. War is an easy way to engage audiences' attention. Good vs evil always creates drama. – Munjeera 6 years ago
  • Glamorize is the key term, and is almost unavoidable in Hollywood movies which tend to have a cohesive narrative that ends in triumph for someone. But this of course doesn't make the glamorization of war any less reprehensible. would be interesting to also examine reaction to Sainsbury's 2014 Christmas advert which caused some degree of outrage, for harnessing a scene from WWI in its Christmas marketing strategy... – lizzyhajos 6 years ago
  • The question you pose: "What does this agenda serve?" is an important question to ask. Considering when war films are released and the manner in which they promote specific political agendas is a topic worth investigating. It seems as if many war films have a component of glamorizing and glorifying war - showing the true horror would be a downer! If we critically view this genre of film, how many would be exposed as nationalistic ploys to endorse and legitimize armed conflict? I think your opening sentence clearly states how these films may promote specific political pro-war agendas. It may be interesting to take a look at when these films are released in relation to specific armed conflict. This would be a good read! – margo 6 years ago

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