Politics the Central Theme of the Movie Term Paper

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The central theme of the movie "Lord of war" and the documentary "The fog of war: eleven lessons from the life of Robert S. McNamara," is human nature during war and the need for power in general, and over other countries.

The documentary "Fog of War," directed by Errol Morris, evolves around a very controversial man, Robert McNamara, secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, who subsequently became president of the World Bank. The documentary combines an interview with McNamara with archival footage, documents, and an original score by Philip Glass.

McNamara discusses his experiences and shares some lessons he learned during his tenure as secretary of Defense. He talks about his work as a bombing statistician during World War II, his presidency at Ford Motor Company and the Kennedy administration's triumph during the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the other hand the documentary focuses primarily on his failures in Vietnam. The main themes of the movie are his "eleven lessons" learned during his time. Some of these include: understanding the enemy, accepting that in order to do good it is necessary to engage in evil and the fight to try to change human nature will always be unsuccessfully.

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The movie "Lord of War" focuses on a character (inspired from reality) called Yuri Orlov who lives in little Odessa, and on how he gradually becomes a gun dealer, from selling guns to the villains in his neighborhood to selling firearms in different points of the world. He becomes a very rich and important gun dealer, closing business with an African leader, who likes to call himself warlord, and his psychotic son. The movie also describes the relationship between Yuri and his beautiful wife and his brother. Orlov is chased by a federal agent and in the end he seems very torn between his family and his job. He is fascinated by success but he is rather cold when analyzing how moral or immoral his "job" is.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Politics the Central Theme of the Movie Assignment

Both, the documentary "Fog of War" and the movie "Lord of War" are inspired from real events, the stories presented by the two different characters, happened sometime in the history. The theme of war is presented in both movies, and in the end there is the grim accomplishment that the urge to kill is the earliest feature of men and war can not be stopped. The movies are a study of the moral complexities of war and those who fight it.

The term military-industrial complex refers to the United States, and it was used in the farewell address of president Dwight D. Eisenhower. The military-industrial complex is also called the "iron triangle" and describes a secret agreement among defense contractors (industry), the Pentagon (military force) and the congress, the United States government. This unity works against the public interests and its motivation is to take advantage. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/military_industrial_complex)

Military-industrial complex is a symbiotic relationship between a nation's armed forces, its private industry in association with political and commercial interests. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/military_industrial_complex)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the Americans in his farewell address about the fact that, although there is a certain need for the development of a military establishment and the arm industry, the American nation must not fail to comprehend its grave implications; "the total influence economic - political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/military_industrial_complex).And thus the Americans must protect themselves against "unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." Power can be misplaced and this could have a disastrous effect. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/military_industrial_complex)

According to Wikipedia free encyclopedia in the penultimate draft of the address, Eisenhower initially used the term military-industrial- congressional complex, indicating the essential role that the U.S. Congress plays in the propagation of the military industry.

Taking into consideration what former president Eisenhower, after a lifetime experience in military actions said, the lesson underlined is that the leaders of a country will not always search for the best interest of the people that inhabit it, but their own interest, and anybody can be easily influenced by other forces. Looking for ones' well fair is a natural human trait, and this might be an excuse for the people that work in the government who have other hidden business than promote peace. In the future people will do more to obtain peace than governments do, "people want peace so much that one of these days' governments had better get out of the way and let them have it" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower).

Errol Morris documentary and Andrew Niccol's movie are dealing with the subject of power, somehow everything is reduced to power or to who has greater power. The moment somebody has the power he becomes "blind," and there is the risk of not knowing where and in which way to focus on it and this, as Mr. Eisenhower warned, might lead to destruction.

Also, the films talked about how the military industry is the one that gives power to a nation over other nations. Not insignificant" gun dealers like Yuri Orlov, who are in search to arm as many people as possible in order to get rich, are the real issue. The real world's leading arms dealers are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council the U.S., UK, France, Russia and China. Orlov proclaims that U.S. government is a much bigger supplier of arms than him, "they sell in a day more than me in one year" and some of Yuri's customers are useful to foreign policy: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Orlov opened Valentine's eyes (the cop who was eager to put Yuri in jail) telling him that if he was eventually put on trial, that would certainly bring to surface some embarrassing revelations. Thus Yuri is in the end released and his character is viewed as a necessary evil for U.S..

Morris's personage, Robert McNamara, seems to have been looking at the destruction of war and what it does to the human soul and the viewers are left with the sense of a man who has come a long way. While his lessons reduce to "the end justifies the means" his conclusion is clear that the U.S. should never invade another country without the support of its friends and allies. He says: "we are the strongest nation in the world today... And I do not believe we should ever apply that economic, political or military power unilaterally. If we'd followed that rule in Vietnam, we wouldn't have been there. None of our allies supported us. If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better re-examine our reasoning."

While recognizing his own role, McNamara is stating sorrow for what war has elaborated, he never apologizes and he advances his message for the future by making it universal: admitting mankind has a problem with violence and stating that he was doing the best he could.

The most important moment of the documentary is when McNamara speaks about mankind never learning from history. Although, there are some moments when he is more optimistic and gives the world some credit. The next important scene is the one when the ex-secretary of defense gets to meet a general from the Vietnamese army, one of McNamara's adversaries from 30 years ago. It becomes clear that McNamara is not eager to accept much responsibility for his actions during the Vietnam War and he tries to describe himself as a "simple" employee," working for the president. Instead he does admit the United States were wrong in misjudging the nature of Vietnam and its history, wrong about assessing on the ground intelligence and wrong in not securing support from nations' traditions and values similar to the American ones. In the end, the ex-secretary of defense is not ready to answer questions about personal guilt. It is clear that during the past events he has been influenced in his decisions by other major forces (like General LeMay who was certain that bombing Tokyo during, World war II, was the right thing to do, otherwise both he and McNamara would have been regarded as war criminals) and that any unsuitable questions will put him in difficulty. When he didn't criticize the Vietnam War after he left the Johnson administration, he let the audience speculate, hinting only that he had information that the viewer didn't have.

Lord of war" is another movie that focuses on some of the problems encountered in the society, and it gives basic figures through Nicholas Cage's character as well as looking at various sequences of corruption that show that no matter what you try to do, money talks, and in firearms dealing, it seems to yell. Yuri justifies his business transactions the same way as a man who runs a diner - claiming that it is a basic human function, that people will always kill each other, and while that happens why not make a dollar out of it?

Both movies are a character's confessions.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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