One time I took a college course that was in the social science department focused on the 1970s. We were actually shown several films, including this movie – Apocalypse Now. The movie was and is fucking awesome.
For starters, this isn’t your usual action film or war movie. It is almost a mixture of a war movie with a cult tribe element. Perhaps even a religious cult. A military/CIA type, Martin Sheen, is tasked with killing this fucking lunatic, played by Marlon Brando. Brando was apparently a piece of shit during the filming of this, showing up on set overweight. Interestingly, he was not really shot but from the shoulders up.
The movie, which takes on the form of an acid trip in the Vietnam War, shows us several elements, For starters, we learn that this place’s atmosphere is very despondent. No one is happy. Sheen is a drunk, probably off camera too. I even read he, the actor, had a near fatal heart attack on location! This movie had many levels of misfortune.
So Sheen travels up a river to Cambodia, where this nut general has created an insane blood thirsty tribe. Along the way, he loses men (eventually everyone I think), kills innocent people, sees Playmates and gets shot at by toy arrows. It is an interesting journey.
“Charlie don’t surf.”
When he arrives to the tribe, he sees decapitated heads, wild ass people, bodies hanging from trees and just a fucked up mess. About like Fallujah. He manages to kill Brando but not before we see some gruesome shit including a cow being hacked to death. It bothered me. I looked it up and it was 100% real. How did this happen? Well, the local tribe was playing the tribe in the movie and were going to kill it anyway, according to the director. Questionable.
The movie itself though is an experience I would highly recommend. The point is that war is never moral and that horrendous things go on in the world whether you want to believe it or not, so we should make the best, most moral choices we can for the entire human race.