As the French have assessed American military actions over the past three decades, they have done so within a framework of memories about the Vietnam War. This article considers French memories of that war by examining reactions to American films on Vietnam released in France from 1978 to 1987, from Coming Home and The Deer Hunter to Rambo II and Platoon. Drawing upon reviews from 30 French newspapers and magazines as well as box-office figures and quotes from viewers, it identifies and analyzes patterns in French reactions. It observes a far larger current of French support for America's war than normally acknowledged, while also noting disagreements among opponents of the war over whether the films expressed sufficient regret and evidence of lessons learned. Although still reluctant to debate their own colonial wars in those years, the French addressed the topic indirectly in discussing Hollywood's retrospective view of the Vietnam War.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Film reviews
- Vietnam War