I hadn’t rewatched From the New World until I reviewed it specifically for this list. Because it has been seven years, I had forgotten the actual opening of the series — instead, the ubiquitous image of this show, the children standing on a hill at sunset, is what had stuck in my mind.
From the New World begins with a flickering camera, tension that the viewer can instantly feel, before it’s released in a series of human explosions to Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World). More specifically, “Largo” or “Going Home” as it’s more commonly known in the United States. It then transitions, still playing this song, to the image I remembered. As if they’re talking to the viewer directly, one of the children says, “When they play ‘The Way Home’ plays on the speakers you have to head back.” It’s equal parts haunting, stunning, and (upon rewatching) emotionally-affecting despite the fact that a fresh viewer knows nothing about the violence shown in brief bursts or these children arguing at sunset.
It’s only a taste of what’s to come.