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Cinematic materials have played very important role in the lives of many people in the society. For many decades, film making and the content of the films have been of significance importance to the society through the delivery of a range of ideologies and key concepts to the people.
From observations, it is vivid that there has been a general use of cinematic paradigms well design either for universal usage or for a specific delivery of a particular message, idea, opinion or suggestion to the people. Depending on a several factors of purpose, composer’s competences and level of technology among others, the intended message may be passed across to the targeted audiences through simple or sophisticated means.
It is however very crucial for the cinematic producer to ensure that the audience receives the intended message in the right way without missing any key point or part of message in the film. It is from this point of view that we are interested in analyzing the film “American Soldier” by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in this paper.
The analysis of this paper is specifically based on the last part of the film, where we try to reveal how the message of social interaction and masculinity depicted in the society, and through which we also explore different aspects applied in the art of film production for the purpose of perfecting the film work.
Influences of Identity
In the United States, the art of cinematography has very vital role in the course of transforming the society’s view of the concept of gender, especially in the area of masculinity. This has further been linked with the issues of relationship leading to recognition by the society and the state in which one live in.
The film industry has over the decades endeavored in showing such ideological attachments as well as the engagements of the people from the community. Masculinity and social interactions in diverse cinematographic works have been depicted as issue major concern.
This has contributed mainly through the indications that social interactions together with masculinity issue had been major problems not restricted within the American society, but such problems are being realized on many other societies all over the globe.
Though the root cause of these problems may not easily be stated, cinematic producers believe that there is close linkages and influence from the field of politics as well as societal change in the view of male and female identities.
Society& social interactions
In short, while social interactions are key factor to societal identify, controversial anti-social conducts may lead to confusion in individual’s identifications. Similarly, there are certain situations the arise in the society leading to failure or proper identification under gender factor, which is termed at the general aspect of identification for the advanced evolved organisms including man.
The Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s cinematographic work developed in the years of 1970s had many of the gender issues of identity and social interactions brought to the surface of the community. Some appeared to be acceptable while other identity and social interaction aspects were unaccepted, as they apparently appeared to be against the norms of the traditional practices of the society.
Acknowledge the diversity of idea exploration by cinematographic content developers, the last scene of the American soldier focuses on the complex ideas of violence, and other closely related ideologies such as masculinity and social interactions of the people of the society.
The part on focus is a scene which I feel that it bring out the feelings of being mixed blessed individual. At the beginning of the scene, there is a revelation of tragic event happening, which involving a shooting of one the trouble makers in the society.
However, the painful scenic event does not last for a long period of time before being cut short by two men embracing in hug style on one another, who rolls for very long duration as though they were showing a kind of love or feelings of joy on one another.
While acknowledging the vital role of Ricky in his representation of the state in the Vietnam war, his engagement at high level of war representation apparently appear to have changed his ways of behaving. In the first place of his encounter with home based security men at Munich indicates that he is more empowered and experienced than the other three men.
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On his encounter with the three local police officers, they plot to enter into a contract of providing security to the local community. The idea comes from the fact that there have been heated gangster attacks within the community, but the efforts of the three police officers have been fruitless.
That means local police officers have been defeated to eradicate the rising robbery activities going within the area. In this case, we find that identity is indicated by the level of responsibility associated with individual.
Ricky is thus being identified as a special person in the community duty to the accomplishment and achievements from the Vietnam’s war.
Indeed, all the persons involved in the dealing of the contract are men, which to some extend leads to assumption that men the only individual employed to under the work of providing security both at the community levels as well as at the inter-state struggles or attacks.
State’s Role &responsibility
On focusing the identity and gender issue by the role of the characters, the above particular scene showed blurred indication of how the community shared its duties and responsibilities. This raises some kind of controversial situation on which individuals of the same gender category and parties being identifies with the same kind of responsibility may work and perform differently.
The local security officer seem to fear the gangs paralyzing the people from the local communities, but with the contracting of the job to someone who has an international experience gained from the Vietnam war fight, a great shift is realized as portrayal of the men being more masculine than the local police.
Even though Ricky’s attack against the gangsters at his home town may be as show of being more oriented to men character behavior than female, the judgment cannot be taken as an exhaustive comparison due to the consideration of other factors including education and substance abuse, which might have been major influences of the way he acted or behaved.
Furthermore, there are other things which must be considered in the process of making judgment of issues concerning behavior which depict an individual’s identity or behavior. From the watch of the last scene of the American Soldier film, the behavior of the local police officers would show that they ended up fearing the gang people who they were supposed to rule and have control over their lives.
Knowing that the police had not travelled outside their country, it is possible both the gangs and police had similar skills of attacking their opponents, which implies that none was able to show more powers over the others.
Thus, the similarities of the power potentials among the two kinds of groups might have led the police officers to succumb to the orders or demands of the opponent security group of gangsters.
On the same issue, the lack of show of greater powers of the local police over the gang group might have been caused by the state regulatory order, which prevented ruthless killings or deprivation of live without following the right established channels of justice and legal systems.
Based on the same kind of thought, Ricky who has been exposed to guerilla type of war is likely to carry out ruthless killing of any person found guilt of any crime without following the justice channels. It is apparent that due to life experiences and the exposure to certain situations/ environments of power and authority, one would appear to impose power on other people than others do.
Friends & family recognition
The act of requesting for a girl from a clerk is a good indicator of showing male powers over the female counterpart. It may be argued that, Ricky did not intend to hold talk with, or any sort of negotiations with a female. In his frustrated kind of life, Ricky takes on the defensive kind of behavior which is generally a type of behavior that was adopted by men as show of individual’s masculine character.
Certainly, it cannot be said that this is his original way of conducting considering the various environments which he has gone and which might have influenced him in one way or another to change his persona.
From the basic point of view of the situation, Ricky’s adopted defensive kind of behavior might specifically been triggered in response to sense of alienation and vulnerability to the ant-social conduct of the people from his community. While he ruthless gets associated with his friend’s girl friend, he finds his mother as emotionally insensitive.
Normally, mothers and females are believed to have high emotional sense and every one from the community expects to receive comfort from mother in case his/her life is bruised from outside world. However, Ricky’s visitation to his father’s own home portrayed lack of emotional response to the hurt life by his mother. This further indicated the corrupted ways of gender identity in the society.
On the scenic visit of Ricky to his father’s home, we also learn of his father’s character, which depicted him as being ineffectual father. This gives more understanding of role attached to the fathers living in the country, and it goes on to portray what lead to gender identification on the basis of gender roles.
Ricky feels that his brother is fond of jealousy and he hate being unforgiving for any mistake committed. He does show that these are character behaviors for the female child, which then can be used for the purpose of gender identification and determination of masculinity within the Germany community.