America during the 1980s saw a retelling of some of its most controversial moments in political history. This was no less brought on by the desire to better a self-image that had been become tainted and in so doing regain public confidence in a blemished United States.
Through movies such as Platoon and Rambo, certain aspects of the Vietnam War were brought up in the storyline, such as actors who portrayed ex-Vietnam veterans. They were then the subject of a journey that would undoubtedly see them become victorious in some other trial that would seem to almost disregard any previous link they had had to the war. In Rambo for example, we see a veteran who has become twisted by his experiences in Vietnam, and his intense belief that he is still a part of the war goes to show just how powerful the memories of that time were psychologically, and the eventual admit that Vietnam was a defeat leads the character to feel despair. Through the cleansing of the establishement he survives in, the film seems to encourage a feeling of personal victory on their home turf, and through this portrays the veteran as a hero.
I believe that cultural memories are reinvented in this way in order to promote a desire to change the past, and recreate in the only way possible; through film.