I wasn’t sure what to put up for Memorial Day, so here is Ana VidoviÄ‡ performing Cavatina from The Deer Hunter.
It must also be said that the funeral is one of the most quietly devastating scenes ever seen in a film about war, largely because it avoids grandstanding. There are no hateful words thrown at the “enemy,” nor are there syrupy speeches. Instead, the people involved act as most of us would. They are quiet, shy, and make small talk to avoid the real matter at hand. And when a lone voice begins to sing “God Bless America,” it is not a jingoistic, self-righteous anthem, but rather the only way these people know how to convey their emotions at that moment. When in doubt, it seems to say, rely on the familiar. Once again, ritual. The subtle power of this scene does much to contradict the popular notion that the film ends on a note of God and Country. These aren’t muscular Christians barking their war cry, but rather confused, saddened friends trying best to remember a lost member of their inner circle.