Power and class in America, that's what this much maligned film from 1980 is all about. The financial failure of HEAVEN'S GATE meant the end of personal film-making in Hollywood, risk-taking replaced by cliche. It's message seems oddly prescient for our time, where rich men make ALL the decisions in America, poverty is rampant, and the masses take solace in the meaningless deaths of our "heroes" in uniform. Where Wal-Mart seriously thinks minimum wage is a living wage. And the "others" (immigrants) are the targets of our frustrations (be they financial or ideological). Little has changed in the American class structure. Director Michael Cimino shows the joys and failures of both classes, turning chaos into ballet and history into poetry. See all three and a half hours of it, and decide what side of the fence you're on.