Political Communication in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and JFK Essay

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Introduction: Political communication—communication with a political purpose about human interaction—takes many different forms including novels, poetry, music, television, and film, which all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages in communicating with the public. Although some political communication intends to enact or drive social changes, some political communication seeks to maintain the status quo. The film medium, which is the subject of this paper, has a much broader mass appeal than other medias and often changes the viewer’s original beliefs and perceptions when he or she experiences over an hour straight of visual indoctrination of only one view. Over the course of the semester, we have learned about the…show more content…
While Platoon specifically focused on changing people’s perceptions about the Vietnam War, JFK in particular encouraged more openness from the government. Platoon Background behind the Movie: In Platoon, Oliver Stone presents an adventuresome and introspective, hell-bent and morally inclined” combat war film whose tone “seemed to deglamorize war, while the charged action and intense conflicts undeniably provided steamrolling entertainment” (Beaver 88). While many other Vietnam War movies exist, Platoon is a special breed that operates on two levels: the realistic and spiritual. Stone drew his inspiration for this film from his own extensive military service in the Vietnam War. In 15 months of military service from September 1967 to November 1968, he served in four different units and suffered two combat wounds (Beaver 83). He also met many interesting soldiers that would later become his assortment of characters in Platoon. Written in 1976, Platoon received little interest and did not become a reality until 1986, a year after Stone made the successful film Salvador. Platoon was a new type of movie and garnered much public anticipation and interest because Stone, the first Vietnam film written and directed by a Vietnam veteran, showed a more realistic version of the

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