"Faces of the Enemy"

Essay by jagerbombwvuUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2006

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"Faces of the Enemy" follows a psychologist Sam Keen as he unmasks how individuals and nations dehumanize their enemies to justify the inhumanity of war. In Sam Keen's documentary "Faces of the Enemy" he comes up with documentation that goes in the mind of the enemy and finds out why we have enemies, and why we dehumanize these enemies. The film discussed the sociological, psychological and political aspects of war as well as the strategies we use to dehumanize the enemy. The film also includes examples of propaganda-filled films and posters that were used during World War II and the Cold War. Recently, extremist groups in the U.S. have used aspects of these wartime tactics to disseminate their agendas. Keen wanted to figure out why individuals are enemies, so he looks into the mind of a murderer by the name of David Rice. He killed an innocent family and characterized them as his enemy because they were a suspected communist family.

Rice saw himself as a soldier in a war against inhuman enemies and the only way to get rid of his enemy was to eliminate his enemy. Enemies come in many shapes and sizes but Rice's enemy was quite different. Rice's influence of propaganda led him into a world of no return. He killed an entire family that were innocent and normal people, but were faced with a horrible death.

The film had a way of keeping the attention of the viewer by showing how one nation would totally dehumanize another nation with war propaganda. All of it would say how we are good, and they are evil, or we are the victims and they are the ones to blame. In one of the US Army films the message they say "Let's see what kind of people these...