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Word Count: 635
The Spoils of War In Oliver Stones Heaven and Earth Le Ly is born into a time of tranquility in which the people of her village live as they have for many centuries Everything is structured everyone has his place Then a warplane streaks across the sky and in a moment all she knows is destroyed Le Lys destiny will take her from the rice fields of Vietnam to the suburbs of California For average farmers who only wanted to tend their crops the war brought horrendous choices Le Lys village is visited both by Viet Cong propagandists and American and South Vietnamese advisers Originally she sides with the Vietcong because her brother chose to join their ranks She eventually grows to hate both sides however she will cooperate when asked to out of fear for her life We see her savagely mistreated by men from both sides who effortlessly transform their patriotic passion into the act of rape She is then separated from her family joins aimless ranks of refugees and finds herself in Saigon in an economy where the Americans had all the money and a lot of them were buying drugs and sex Not too much sooner has Le Ly made the transition from farmer to a lowermiddle class urban citizen when Steve Butler sweeps her off of her feet in his search for an Oriental wife Again she is forced to change her lifestyle and adapt to her surroundings Not only does she adapt but she also takes command Le Ly arrives in America as Mrs Steve Butler to a land where the grocery store shelves seem to reach endlessly in every direction and her in-laws view her as something between a pet and a scandal Stone was trying to convey how difficult it was for all the Vietnamese to evolve from their simple ideal way of life to the fast paced harsh realities of modern life that would soon overtake
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