After a latency period, the American cinema is processing the trauma of defeat in the Vietnam War. In these films, defeat is repressed but the defeated male is present. Central to the texts is a profound loss of self, incoherence at the gendered core of masculine identity, the failure to conform to the heteronormative mythical model, loss of traditional affiliations (representability of the social order, fatherhood, brotherhood), tortured body, and shattering of sexuality. All three models of post-traumatic masculinity subvert the identification between masculinity, patriarchy, and nationalism.
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