Filmmakers sometimes hit the exact correct symbol to represent an idea.
That’s true of John Ford in the final scene of his masterpiece, The Searchers. Ethan Edwards, frontiersman and Civil War veteran, has succeeded in his years-long quest to rescue a young girl kidnapped by Indians and return her home. He brings her to the cabin, the family fusses over her, and all of them rush inside… All except Edwards, who remains alone, framed by the open door. With an almost childlike gesture, one arm gripping the other at the elbow, he turns away as the door, as if by the hand of God, is firmly shut.