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My movie-obsessed daughter recently went on a Western kick. It does the heart good that a 25 year old gal, uprooted from solid Appalachian soil and replanted in the urban wilds of Brooklyn, finds a fascination with authentic American cinema. Hannah has that innate ability to see beyond the entertainment purposes of film, to the underlying messages and themes the director intends.
So great westerns were a natural fit. Big vistas and big ideas. Americans literally forging out a civilization from the wilderness – struggling with ideas of justice and duty. Westerns provided a perfect backdrop to write these truths across the wide open sky. Men entering their houses justified. We could use more of that sentiment today.