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Comparison Films


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Comparison Films

There are a few movies that Born on the Fourth of July may be compared to Coming Home and The Mai Lai Massacre.  There are two that have good comparison levels and necessary distinction.  To greater understand this film, it is beneficial to look at other films that deal with the same topics in different manners.

Coming Home2 hours and 8 minutes (1978)
Staring Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
     Coming Home, just like Born on the Fourth of July, also displays the physical and mental,  hardship that Vietnam veterans go through when they return home.  The director of the film, Hal Ashby captures the struggle and the frustration just like the same emotions that Ron Kovic has been through.  Both directors Stone and Ashby capture the true change of not only the lives of the soldiers but also the lives of their families and those that come in contact with them.  For those that become intimate with both these soldiers, they leave a big impact on the souls.  Both these directors display 
how love is important to both these soldiers, for it represents a sense of a “normal life."  At least the one thing they long for.  The struggles of the aftermath of war are definitely felt in both The Born on the Fourth of July and Coming Home.



Mai Lai Massacre
The movie The Mai Lai Massacre clearly displayed the traumatic effects that the Vietnam war had on the soldiers that fought in it.  The film focuses on Vietnam veterans and how they deal with the after-shock of the war.  Through their interviews the viewer grows to truly understand the profound horror of their experience.  Also seen in the film are pictures of the bloody massacre in Mai Lai—the slaughtering of thousands of innocent victims that caused the veterans the pain and suffering they are experiencing still today.  One of the interviews portrayed a Vietnam veteran who was battling the after effects of his trauma, by taking thirty different prescribed medications.  Even with these prescribed drugs, he was unable o maintain the sanity that he once had before the war.  He continues to endure painful flashbacks of killing the innocent civilians.  His life
is forever changed due to serving his country in the Vietnam war.
      These types of experiences are comparable to the experience that Ron Kovic endured in Oliver Stone’s Born on the Fourth of July.  The movie takes the viewer through the story of a man (Ron Kovic), who while fighting the war in Vietnam, was forced to experience life-threatening and life-taking situations.  All these events cause Kovic to deal with a sense of guilt and lack of self worth.  The post traumatic feelings of war leaves one with serious emotions, that now have to deal with everyday of their lives.  Despite the fact that the war is now over, the memories of it are still just as vivid as they were when the soldiers were fighting in Vietnam.  These are the images that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.