12: Born On The Fourth Of July

This week, things get grim with Oliver Stone’s 1989 anti-war biopic Born on the Fourth of July. Is Stone on the side of the angels? How does political criticism work in a film about a real person’s life? Has Willem Dafoe ever been less enjoyable?

Content warning: graphic violence, medical trauma, militarism, disability, sex work and sex workers, religious iconography and language, riots and civil disobedience

Unanswered Questions:

  • Do Oliver Stone’s personal politics help or hinder the narrative of the film?
  • Is it acceptable to fabricate real-life events in the service of a political point?
  • How do we feel about the treatment of race in this film?

Further reading:

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Join us next time as we begin the 1990s with a return to Scott, Bruckheimer and Simpson — and introduce Nicole Kidman — with Days of Thunder!

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