July 23, 2004

Since it's a rule around our house that no Civil War movie can be missed, I was only in temporary violation when I missed Cold Mountain at the theater. I got the video and am half-way through it. I'm struck by the spiritual parallels.

The bare bones story is that Inman is an idealistic soldier going off to the Civil War when he meets Aida, arriving just as he's leaving. For the briefest moment they imagine a life together and baptize it with a kiss. On that slim hook she promises to wait for the end of the war, presumed to be a month.

Inman's journey parallels our own. He's trying to get home, to somewhere heavenly. The pilgrimage is fraught with dangers - demons in the form of Union & Confederates trying to catch him (he's on the lam), temptations in the form of prostitutes and lonely widows - while having to fend off disbelief in Aida's love given how fragmentary the vision.

The disbelief weakens as he gets closer. He has sacrificed so much to get this far. Meanwhile, Aida is waiting.

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