Another paragraph on the cutting floor:
Compared to prison memoirs, accessibility to the American reconstruction of the war is abundantly available in a series of blockbuster films (besides Rambo, Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987), there are too many to list, but we consider the Deer Hunter and Good Morning Vietnam (get refs) as indicative. As mentioned in the case of documentary films such as the 2017 Burns and Novick series The Vietnam War which played to large audiences in the US, but was not popular in Vietnam (as mentioned again in our text below). There is a Vietnamese television series on the war that runs for some 50 plus episodes, so far to our knowledge not taken up by the US networks. We also see a continuity here with Spike Lee’s 2020 cinema effort, Da 5 Bloods, where still-anonymous Vietnamese are subject to another fictional defeat and we see a ‘self-reparation’ pay-out of Black US servicemen via a recovered CIA covert ops treasure – the irony of reparations going to US Black Americans, while perhaps admirable within the US racial narrative, is an abomination given the US administration’s refusal to pay the Paris Accords’ sanctioned reparations to Vietnam for the war. And in any case, a box of gold bars buried in an area of the Mekong Delta, subject to flooding rains and movement of land through shifting sedimentation and silt, could hardly be so easily ‘found’ 40 years later, using metal detectors that are themselves obscene in the context of land mines. It may be that this Spike Lee aside should only be a footnote, but the point is that the penalscape (Fuggle 2019: 31) is bound up with the image of the war and how it is renewed along the same demarcation lines even in 2020.