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Deer Hunter, The
aka The Deer Hunter ; Hjortjägaren ; The Man Who Came to Play ; Voyage au bout de l'enfer ; Die durch die Hölle gehen ; El cazador
Ryhmä: Thorn Emi Video (R-Video, w/ backcover in english)

At the end of Michael Cimino's epic film The Deer Hunter, all the characters spared the Vietnam War to return home drift unsentimentally, but movingly, into a rendering of God Bless America. It's more than requiem for their dead comrade: it's an anthem for a living American tradition of making mistakes, rueing them and starting afresh. When this film appeared in 1978, it struck a national nerve. it sealed an era of guilt, remorse and political division caused by America's involvement in Vietnam and the haemorrhaging of tens of thousands of young lives. It was a healing of the wounds at home as much a horrifying depiction of the wounds, physical and spiritual, inflected on four boys from a backwoods steel community plunged into a hell beyond their understanding, or bearing. It isn't a rancorous film: it doesn't encourage Americans to ask 'Where did we go wrong?', but instead celebrates the thing so many felt they did right - their duty. 'Serving God and Country, Proudly' reads the dance-hall banner as the film opens with the wedding of Stevie (John Savage), the rough-housing of his groomsmen-buddies led by Mike (Robert De Niro), and the impromptu sortie of the pals for a deer hunt at dawn which reveals their Hemingway-like attitude to life and death. Then in a billow of napalm flame, we move to Vietnam and watch the capture, torture, escape, separation and homeward journey they all make - some in a box. Out of this grim material, hewn of the macho block of men's suffering and male bonding, Cimino fashioned a huge movie that operates on the senses even more than on the mind. It won many Oscars and immense praise, not least for Meryl Streep's appearance as a war bride. If Vietnam could be said to have produced a Gone with the Wind, proving that courage, love and heroism are still forces in human affairs, this movie would be it.

Id: 90 0602

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