European films are more daring in challenging the "promised land".
Voyages presented a intriguingly woven tapestry, showcasing a cross section of the Jewish diaspora, most of them trying to come to terms with their holocaust-afflicted past.
Some were curious to see Auschwitz one last time (and wouldn't mind jumping onto a tour bus and heading down that same funereal path). Some were simply trying to find the loved ones they lost. The older ones shown varying degrees of accepting their painful experiences while the younger ones seemed forced by their elders to confront and perpetuate this seemingly irreconciliable history.
This film also obliterated the myth of the promised land. It shows a modern Israel where Yiddish is no longer a common language (as a result of mass immigration?) Most importantly, by focusing on elderly characters who have survived the traumas of WWII and endured a heavily "burdened" life, this film shed light on the differences in perspectives one may gain with age. Unlike high profile types like Natalie Portman, who reportedly declared she too would wanna move over to Israel as "a show of solidarity", the old woman in the end of this film just didn't see it that way. Without political intents, she just wanted to find a long lost cousin. That her fate in this "foreign" land turned out to be an uncertainty further punctuates the "point" of this film.
Voyages attempted to convey to us that there is no such thing as a "promised land". Most importantly, the Holocaust, however painful it had been, should be put behind us. Whatever short time we have left (or will have, depending on our age) might be better spent regaining or sustaining the love we have for those whom we really care for. However painful one's past might have been, one should best reconcile with such entangled chains and try to live the rest of one's life simply (without clinging onto too many "false" hopes - as the old woman in the last segment came to realize.)
While American Jews like Portman and Spielberg are politicising the grand aims of Israel or the intensive documentation of Holocaust survivors (both with questionable political agenda), this courageous film appealed for all to "let go" of their past wounds and present dogma and live the rest of our lives without baggages. Yesterday, you were sandwiched on a train to a concentration camp. Today, you took a tour bus down that same path for commemoration. Tomorrow, you may just be staring into a piece of wooden plywood, six feet under. Most important thing before tomorrow, is hence to just live for today.
This film exudes profound goodness. I love it.
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