Study Guide

Apocalypse Now Scene 11

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Scene 11

Scene 11

Welcome to the Nuthouse

  • Further along, they see crucified dead people and severed heads on the shoreline; they know it's Kurtz's doing.
  • Finally, they reach Kurtz's camp, where Kurtz's native soldiers are waiting in canoes and on the shore, silently staring.
  • A wacked-out American photojournalist greets them. He tells them to put on their sirens and they do. The warriors scramble away from the shore.
  • The journalist doesn't give his name. He just talks about how he's been covering the war since 1964.
  • The journalist says that he and the warriors are "all [Kurtz's] children." He starts praising Kurtz, saying that Kurtz is a wise man, a poet, who will suddenly grab you and recite Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" at you.
  • We can see the words "Apocalypse Now" now scrawled on the wall of the temple-fortress complex where Kurtz is holding court. The journalist keeps rambling to Willard, explaining how Kurtz threatened to kill him for taking his picture one day, but that Kurtz can't be judged as an ordinary man.
  • We see the soldier who originally went to kill Kurtz—a guy named Colby—who's now joined Kurtz's army. Willard recognizes him and says "Colby," but Colby says nothing.
  • The journalist explains to Willard about the severed heads lying around, admitting that Kurtz goes too far sometimes.
  • Willard says Kurtz has gone crazy, but the journalist objects.
  • He tells Willard that Kurtz went off into the jungle with his people and he doesn't know when he'll be back.

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