empts to surf while there are people dying around them, and the dichotomy of these disparate events, along with the soundtrack and the general chaos reinforces the idea that this is not a traditional war film.
True to Conrad's original story, Apocalypse Now remains an inward journey of one man¨Willard¨coming to grips with the challenges of interacting with a foreign culture and the changes that have been brought by the culture and the events surrounding him to another countryman¨Kurtz. It is also, to some degree¨although Coppola does not draw out exactly how Kurtz became the renegade having total control over his corner of the war¨the story of Kurtz's descent away from "civilized" behavior. Like the reaction to Vietnam War itself, the film is ambiguous in its evaluations of both Kurtz and Willard. The audience does not necessarily find one morally superior to the other, and the audience definitely does not leave a viewing of this film with a positive "feel good" attitude about the United States or its role in Vietnam. As the 2004 presidential election illustrated, the nation still has considerable issues yet to be resolved in the national conscience about the war, those who served, and the actions they performed.
Apocalypse Now was made after the last helicopters left Saigon and after the nation had time to reflect on what the war and the protests against it had meant. The Vietnam War was different than any war before or since in that it was the first war that was televised and the last war where the military did not exercise extreme control and even censorship over the images that were seen by the "folks back home." Dead Vietnamese and dead Americans were shown on the evening news, and protests rocked the nation. Students were killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University as they protested, and much of the popular music of the late 1960