What 'Apocalypse Now' can teach us about the post-9/11 world
Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ is famous for a lot of things – the grueling production that gave actor Martin Sheen a heart attack, the visceral battle scenes, Marlon Brando’s legendary performance as Col. Kurtz and the iconic line “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” But political scientist Donald Cuccioletta believes the movie is also a valuable tool for understanding how the world has taken shape in the 18 years since 9/11.
“It’s extremely relevant because the words ‘Apocalypse Now’ means today,” he said. “If we look at our situation around the world today, if we go into Afghanistan or other places around the world, we see as Marlon Brando says at the end of the film ‘The horror, the horror.’”
Cuccioletta said mistakes made by American forces and leadership in the Vietnam War, as portrayed in the film, are still being made today.
“We see the arrogance still exists today, and it’s not only the Americans. We can talk about the Russians or the Chinese who say they don’t make war but basically the Chinese are placing themselves around the world, especially in Africa, which leads to confrontation,” he said.