The scene in question, involves Keener's character confronting her mother over her father's abuse of her as a child. It is central to the movie and all eyes are nervously on the two actors as the scene is being filmed. Unfortunately during the first take, a light explodes on set, much to the frustration of Buscemi's character, who explodes in rage. The next take goes just as badly with the 'mother' forgetting her lines and then the third try is ruined by Keener's character blowing her lines, in turn.
Buscemi's character is crestfallen, with the pain and disappointment visibly etched on his face.
Then, slowly realizing that the moment is lost forever, he just gives up.
Sadly he tells the actors that it's time to go on. "We almost had it, it was beautiful....we can't think about it.... the moment is gone...."
Every time I think of the 1995 referendum, I think of that scene. So close!
While die-hard sovereignists believe that they can somehow re-create that magic moment in 1995 and perhaps go over the top the next time, it is destined never to be and like in the movie, the moment has passed, gone forever.
It seems to me that more and more sovereignists are slowly coming to the same realization, even those in highest echelons of the Parti Quebecois. The sad realty for these sovereignists is that the opportunity for independence has passed them by, forever.
While almost 35% -40% of Quebeckers still say that they will vote for sovereignty in a future referendum, almost 70% believe that they the YES side cannot win. They are probably right.
While sovereignty remains as strong a dream as ever among the college set, those in power positions in the movement are starting to believe otherwise.
Defections in the ranks of PQ thinkers and the rumours of a new provincial party to be created on the basis of an autonomous Quebec within Canada, comprised of both strong sovereignist and federalist politicians gives credence to the notion that it's the beginning of the end of the sovereignty dream.
The PQ has abandoned any talk of a referendum and doesn't even talk of 'winning conditions' any more. At best they are talking about holding mini referendums to force Ottawa to give up more power. That exercise is sad and somewhat embarrassing.
So can it be? Is sovereignty really dead or on its way out as a viable option?
For those of us who grew up here in Quebec, sovereignty was the burning political issue that spanned our entire lives and the realization that perhaps the question has already been settled, is slow to be accepted.
There are many reasons why, perhaps demographics the most important. The half a million or so immigrants who have flooded Quebec since the last referendum are overwhelmingly federalist and even if francophones were to repeat or even increase marginally the support they gave to the YES side in the last referendum, they would still be badly outvoted by the NO side.
Every three years, a full percentage point shifts naturally over to the NO side due to immigration. If a referendum is five or tens years away, as die-hard sovereignists predict, it just gets worse.
But more than immigration, another factor in the decline and fall of the sovereignty option is Quebeckers' realization that they get more out of Canada then they put in.
Whining aside, it's a fact that most Quebeckers, begrudgingly realize, reminded relentlessly by the ROC that Quebec is a net beneficiary of the federal system.
And so, no amount of deflection by the 'argue anything' type of defenders of sovereignty, can change the perception by Quebeckers that they get more out of Canada then they put in. The $8.5 billion in equalization payments is a powerful argument for staying in Canada, after all 'money talks.'
Perhaps the sovereignist's biggest problem is that they never offered Quebeckers a real alternative to federalism. It's one thing to complain about the old system, but they never presented a plan of what an independent Quebec would look like.
Believe it or not, people with mortgages and jobs are profoundly interested.
Today's voters are infinitely more sophisticated. Fooling them with a misleading sovereignty question is no longer an option and without a clear accounting of the benefits and true costs of independence, sovereignists have little to offer but dreams. And dreams don't pay the bills.
In the end sovereignty has been defeated by selfish self-interest, not as bad a concept as it sounds. The success that Quebec has achieved in wresting control of its own economy and its language and culture has made the pursuit of sovereignty uneconomic both financially and socially.
Our generation has seen the Irish Republican Army give up the fight for independence in Northern Ireland as well as the Basque separatists in Spain.
The destruction of the Berlin Wall signaled the fall of communism throughout the world.
A lot bigger and more powerful movements and philosophies have been cast aside.
The end of the sovereignty dream in Quebec is no big deal. It's only a matter of time before everybody realizes it, even the die-hards.