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Archive for December 18th, 2018

Jacknife

By J.D. Lafrance

By the mid-1980s, the American public was finally coming to terms with the effects of their involvement in the Vietnam War. Oliver Stone’s film Platoon (1986) opened the popular culture floodgates and soon a cottage industry of war-related material was everywhere, from Time-Life books to television shows to comic books. Hollywood also capitalized on the renewed fascination with the war and the people that fought in it by releasing films that were either set in Vietnam during the war or stateside in present time with returning soldiers still coping with the trauma of being over there. One of the best examples of the latter was a small, independent film entitled Jacknife (1989) starring Robert De Niro, Ed Harris and Kathy Baker. Adapted from the play Strange Snow by its playwright, Stephen Metcalfe, the film is a smartly-written, well-acted character study about people trying to put their lives back together while living with unresolved issues.

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