It's an interesting thing he was trying to do, and you're right, the ending he used was perfect for that purpose. I'm just not sure I buy into that purpose. For me - I didn't wind up with hope or despair. I just wound up thinking the director ran out of time or money. It seemed unfinished to me, and I'm sure he didn't intend me to come away with that impression.My intention was to take [the viewer on] a road trip through the state of things and then once you go through this journey for you to try to come up with your own conclusions about the possibility of hope in a world like this. At the end I cannot dictate a sense of hope for anybody because a sense of hope is something that’s very internal. We wanted the end to be a glimpse of a possibility of hope, for the audience to invest their own sense of hope into that ending. So if you’re a hopeful person you’ll see a lot of hope, and if you’re a bleak person you’ll see a complete hopelessness at the end.
Although I don't want everything tied up in a nice little bow, the film ends in the midst of a Pyrrhic victory without putting enough of the idea across whether it was all worth it.
After such an excellent film, I was hoping for just a hint more in the final seconds.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Always leave 'em wanting more, right?