The Deer Hunter: Is David Axeens' Criticism Justified?

Topics: Vietnam War, Vietnam, The Deer Hunter Pages: 2 (648 words) Published: June 3, 2013
"Are you convinced by David Axeen's argument, as articulated in his review, that Cimino's film, "The Deer Hunter", is racist, perhaps unintentionally so, but racist nonetheless? Why, or why not? This requires that you read the review (posted in the "documents and links" section), sum it up (ignore the references to other literary works), and react/respond to his critique.

David Axeen’s virulent critic of The Deer Hunter depicts Cimino’s film as being racist and simplistic. We will first review his arguments and then we will analyze them. David Axeen starts describing the movie as a Western, adopting all his values, and denies any affiliation to a new genre that would rise above this old type of films. And even if it goes beyond classical westerns it is too simplifying. According to the film this simplification appears the most in the nature of the characters. The Russian-American happy and loving community is crushed by the cruelty of the sanguinary Vietnamese. Or at least that’s what Cimino wants to show us, says the critic. Nevertheless the analyst states that the young men aren’t as irreproachable as they seem. He also reproaches the director to avoid any deep representation of Vietnamese whose action seems senseless and artificial. He then argues that one of the main problems of the film is the freedom with which the director manipulates history and simplifies the Western to suit his needs. David Axeen says that he doesn’t need to neglect and transform the whole Western reality to present the personal transformation of his character. And he also criticizes the fact that, by showing this simplified Russian roulette kind of war, he completely disregards the actual victory of the Vietnamese and at the same time excites American patriotism.

David Axeen’s vision of the film is very understandable, and if we see the movie from this unique point of view, looking for equality and historic reality, we would totally agree with him. Nevertheless I think that in...
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