In movies I always tend to find something that can make me understand something beyond what I already know, or something interesting, something not normal and good. Generally, that would be a different understanding or different point of view of something of which I have a clear thought and stance. But, on Good Morning, Vietnam I noticed quite a culture clash that made me think how pure used to be the Vietnamese people and it’s culture.
So, we see the great Robin Williams in one of his most memorable movies (actually, most of his movies are memorable…) as Adrian Cronauer, the cool DJ that shakes up things up over the radio station. As we see, he has a crush on Trinh, the cute Vietnamese girl at the English class. Because of Trinh, he befriends Tuan, her brother, and in one of their conversations, it strikes me when Tuan says how not so freely sexually are people in Vietnam. the conversation goes like this:
I know Americans.
See a girl with the type breasts they
like and they put her in a fancy car…
and they buy her some expensive food
and then lie about money.
And then try and take her into a bed.
– So, what’s wrong with that?
It’s more devout here.
Here below is also a video of that conversation.
Well, I won’t argue on the purposes of the Vietnam war, or on the theme of the movie. But this phrase made me think not only how a brother would defend his sister, but also how important are relationships between men and women in Vietnam, and sex in particular. Upon my research on this, I stumbled upon this post in Facts and Details and I would like to empathize the first sentence at the third entry: “In Vietnam virginity is sacred”. These days, not every Vietnamese family would be like the one at Good Morning, Vietnam, and the statistics show that the prostitute scenes at Fullmetal Jacket is more accurate, but, the fact that in their culture sex is not something external, makes it a very special people. The fact that for the Vietnamese the relation between a man and a woman should be very devout (and still partially is) gives a lot of credit to the people. So, what Tuan says at the short scene, for me is very special. It completely contrasts what Adrian says just a second earlier, that there is nothing wrong with taking Trinh to bed, with the importance that virginity and sexual relationships have for Trinh and her family. And furthermore eclipses the prostitute scenes in Fullmetal Jacket. It’s not the main clash of the movie, but surely is a clash between the American soldier that saw Vietnam as a place where they could freely get cheap prostitutes, and the still well preserved conservatory traditions of the Vietnamese people.
This issue is not a topic or a theme of the movie, not at all, but for me is one of those little special things that stand out in this movie. And is also one of the things I stand for: sexual purity before marriage for both the man and the woman, the husband and the wife. That is not only keeping yourself away from free sex, but specifically dedicating your entire being to one only person: your spouse. Rather than giving yourself to many sexual partners and getting pleasure, devoting yourself purely to one person makes you a true gift for your spouse.
So, keep this in mind next time you watch a movie, but meanwhile, take a look at the video below for some of the best scenes from Good Morning, Vietnam.