One of the most famous films about 1960s or ‘Long Sixties’ time frame in the United States history is ‘Forrest Gump’. In fact, ‘Forrest Gump’ is a 1994 film, which is directed by Robert Zemeckis and acted by the top-credited stars like Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump, Robin Wright as Jenny and so on. The main character Forrest Gump with a below- average IQ of 75, however, he has an inspiring of love and affection and being such a duty person with good character traits, which bring him into many life-changing situations like: fleeing from bullies that he became a fast runner by accident, or taking part in US Army where he met Bubba and from then on, they were sent to Vietnam to serve the war in Mekong Delta region. Furthermore, he saves life one of his lieutenant, Dan, then they create the ‘Bubba Gump Shrimp Company’. Afterward, two became millionaires after Dan invests money in Apple stock. Forrest reunites with Jenny and his son named Forrest Gump, however, after a while they get married, Jenny died of unknown incurable virus. Truthfully speaking, competition for getting humans, political rights and freedom was at the center of controversial problems in ‘Forrest Gump’. They are supposed to connect to the early civil rights movement, with the death of Emmett Till or the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1960s or some events after towards the end of the Cold War. The first theme covered in ‘Forrest Gump’ that I want to talk about is the Black Panther Party, while another is absolutely about the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975.
In the movie, the Black Panther movement was depicted clearly like a race movement. In fact, Forrest knows the Black Panther Party due to Jenny’s instruction based on knowing someone who is a part of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a group that sympathized with the Black Panther movement. He is a white one, which undeniably shows that the white does help black people during the civil right movement is none of any border or skin of colors. The scene consists mostly of members of this party yelling at Forrest, who are putting on the military uniforms, and by the fact that they are explaining, still yelling, to Forrest about their beliefs in preventing racism against blacks, which meant that all blacks should be treated equally to the white ones in society. Viewers are quite wondering why the Black Panther allows Forrest into their meeting during the film. Maybe they felt sympathized with ones who were has no choice rather than having to get involved into the war, and Forrest was one of them. The Black Panther movement recalls me to the death of a 14-year-old boy Emmett Till in 1955 in Mississippi, after being charged with making offense with a white woman. Till’s body was being beaten and absolutely distorted at all, and it was returned to Chicago, where was his homeland. A public funeral service with open casket was set by his mother with a view to protesting against US racism and also as a way to support the black people to fight for their equality much more than ever. Besides, the Montgomery bus boycott is another example of fighting against racism of black people when Rosa Parks who was a racial leader movement, refused to give up her seat for a white man on a segregated bus system. By great efforts in nearly 13 months, the boycott was totally successful, which stimulated the activism and other racial movements against racism as well.
Apart from the civil rights from black people, the Vietnam War is a concentrated theme in ‘Forrest Gump’. In the scene, Forrest enlists in the US Army, and he is sent to Vietnam for the war. Many people are fighting against the war as they believe that the soldiers are sent to the hell, the deaths are almost in front of them, and of course, the war is not productive for Americans. The war is started after the Cold War when the US attempts to eliminate the communist presence in Vietnam. Furthermore, the film also describing truthfully the usage of alcohol and drug abuse consumed mostly by American soldiers after the Vietnam War, as Lt. Dan becomes a depressed alcoholic since he wants to escape of the traumatic grips that have experienced in the war. In other words, the Vietnam War is a war that destroys the values of both Vietnamese and the Americans that affect their rights of living freely in their own nation.
To conclude, the film ‘Forrest Gump’ is such a good historical film that recalling me to important events in the past. From then on, I can see clearly the racial discrimination between black and white people, the unlimited fighting from the blacks for their civil rights, their equal treatments with other people. Moreover, I have a deep understanding about the Vietnam War, which happened in my own country for such long time before. Actually, this war is not American people faults, but they are forced to do so. This film is beneficial for every kind of people to see to understand more about the history, the civil right movement and big great efforts of Forrest to adapt to every changing situation in his life. Its solely content of the film is that even though we have to meet a lot of difficulties in the life, we can certainly pass through by ourselves and we can solve it easily by trying the best as we can. So, we will get extraordinary results that satisfy not only for us but also for people around who may or even may not share the same situations. ‘Forrest Gump’ has cover materials for the studying of the events happening in 1960s or the term ‘Long Sixties’ like the civil right movement, the Vietnam War and so on, which is indicated that we have the life as today is based on the continuous fight in the long time. That was the fight from who would ready to sacrifice the life to protect, to stand on their feet to gain the equality for many other people. Civil rights, freedom, happiness, liberty is thing that should be treated freely and equally among people under no circumstances. War or flighting is not bad if it protests against the worst, however, through ‘Forrest Gump’, we see that the Black movement is reasonable due to their rights among any other people. Or the death of Jenny at the end of movies because of unnamed virus symbolizes the death of liberal American and the death of the protests that defined a decade’ in the 1960s, as Jennifer Hyland Wang argues in a Cinema Journal article. In my opinion, it is the death of freedom, liberal equality.
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