Apocalypse Now, A Film History & the Sacrificial Water Buffalo

by Simon Glassock

Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now is one of the most famous of all Hollywood films. It is a transposition of Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, from the jungles of 19th century Belgian Congo to the jungles of Indochina during the Vietnam War. Released in 1979, just four years after the fall of Saigon, it has become one of the defining artistic representations of that traumatic conflict. Like the book, the film traces a river journey up-country in search of a European so far removed from his own civilisation that he has "gone native" and, by reason of this deraci...

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