Michael Cimino’s film "The Deer Hunter" premiered in 1978. It describes the life of the steelworkers in a small town in Pennsylvania, their wartime activities in Vietnam
and return home. A group of friends enjoy the last moments at home before three of them - Mike, Nick and Steven – head for the war in Vietnam. They go deer hunting in the mountains and party at Steven’s wedding. In Vietnam the friends are captured, tortured and forced to play the Russian roulette. Miraculously, they manage to escape, but the war has left its mark on all of them. Nick stays in Vietnam, but Mike and Steven head back home where Nick’s beloved Linda is waiting. None of them, however, is the same person as before.
"The Deer Hunter" was one of the first films that examined the war in Vietnam.
Instead of a monumental war film, this is critical, sad and personal. The film does not tackle large processes but examines what happens to friendship, how love changes and where to find freedom.
This was Michael Cimino’s second full-length feature film that won the best film Oscar besides a number of nominations. Among others, a supporting role award went to Christopher Walken (Nick) and Robert de Niro (Mike) was nominated for the best male actor award. Before shooting the film, de Niro lived and worked with the steelworkers; afterwards he named this “physically the most punishing” film in his career. Other actors excel as well: John Savage (Steven), Meryl Streep (Linda) and John Cazale (Stanley), for whom this was the last film.
"The Deer Hunter" is directed by Tiit Ojasoo, artist-director is Ene-Liis Semper.
Cast from theatre NO99. Premiere was October 2006.