Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cold Mountain - a novel made film about the ravages of war

Cold Mountain is another favorite of mine; that besides the backdrop of the U.S. Civil War, the story (or stories) capture the personal plight of war whether directly engaged on the front lines or on the home front, dealing with reports of death and other dire consequences.  Yes, this story of stories is about a mountain town that survives the war amid countless sacrifices and loss.  

I first read the novel and then saw the film; both intrigued me but, as films offer,both the soundtrack and vivid images atop the sensational acting, it continues to intrigue me. About the story (stories), first the plot, a heroes journey:   a young man (Inman) from this villiage is thrust into war, joining a supposed eligible for North Carolina's part in the Confederacy.  Reluctantly leaving behind a new found love (Ada), he  nevertheless fights, able to survive years of in field battle, but finally is wounded and sent to a back line hospital on the Carolina coast.  Here, he receives one of only few of the many letters that Ada wrote, a much dated account of her own tragedies and plights of war followed with a plea for him to "come home". 

In the months to follow, Inman travails many obstacles along a path to the mountains of west North Carolina, but also receives help here and there as he runs from the home guard and gradually heals from his wounds, physical and otherwise.  Arriving finally to Ada's farm, he discovers that the local home guard has wreaked misery and added hardship to the already distressed village.  In the climax, Inman kills the home guard while dying himself, but not before he is reunited with his love.   Here is that clip, 

Cold Mountain - Inman Returns from War
War is terrible and tragic; it never leads to peace and it always creates destruction and death.  By definition, war is a failure of policy--yet we cannot seem to get over it, work through it or otherwise move beyond it.   As one WWII veteran recently said to me, 
War is a terrible thing. It's a shame that we cannot stop it.
More to come. 

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