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|Index||16 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Im going to begin by saying I'm a Colombian and this is my first review
on this site, so be a little patient. Been a Colombian I'm totally used
to national directors taking the mediocre path of doing a drug inspired
movie, probably trying to rely on the (colombia = drugs premise). This
movie has nothing to do with that.
The whole plot may seem kinda weak, (an accordion player trying to take 1 instrument back to his former mentor by riding a mule trough a big chunk of the Colombian coast regions alongside a teenager who wants to learn how to play from him); but the whole movie moves in such an amazing way that you sometimes forget about the plot just to focus in the way they depict the environments and the traditions linked to them.
Im from Bogotá (capital), so i didn't grow up surrounded by the "vallenato" culture, but this movie manages to show the entire culture from the Colombian coast based not only on the accordion, but also the "caja" and "guacharaca" in such a beautiful and complete way that you cant help but feel amazed at it.
The photography is marvelous, some scenes clearly try to focus on the amazing land sights of the Colombian coast, the acting is way better than i originally supposed, none of the actors are really known in the Colombian "jet-set", but still manage to be totally realistic and make their acting truthful to their characters. (even despite the fact that only a few of our actors are good IMO). I don't really see any flaws on this film, if all Colombian films were like this (not focusing exclusively on drugs), the whole world may have a different view on us.
I really recommend this movie, i totally loved it, and I'm still surprised by the way Ciro Guerra shows the accordion culture in such depth without feeling forced.
Different to the classic Colombian movies. A journey throw the
diversity of the Caribbean cost of Colombia, its people and its music.
Refreshing and well made.
It is very interesting that the lead actor is actually a well known Valletano singer. His songs a lot more popular than his funny name: Marciano.
The selection of songs along the movie is perfect. Traditional Vallenatos that this movie will always help to remember.
Ciro Guerra, the director, is making a great effort to show people around the world the most beautiful and forgotten places of the north region of Colombia.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Los Viajes del Viento" is more than just a typical road story. It is a
quest for an unknown world, one which neither protagonist understands
well, but somehow are compelled to discover. Whatever the original
reasoning for each to take on the journey, the end point is surprising
for both characters, and opens the doors to new beginnings. This is a
truly remarkable, unique film which deserves (and may indeed need) to
be watched more than once.
*The following may contain spoilers... please read only as discussion after watching.
Though the quest may seem incomprehensible on the surface, Guerra offers valuable clues in the film, particularly musical: the only melody that Fermín is able to "sort" of play on the horned accordion. He hammers it twice, getting himself into trouble (first when Ignacio is sleeping, who then wakes up and scolds the boy, and then with the Marimbero crew, where Fermín almost gets himself killed when attempting to recover the two-liner). Finally, at the foot of his Master's coffin, Ignacio plays this same song after reading the posthumous note from Maestro Guerra. It becomes the most powerful message from Ignacio to the eager Fermín, about what living on the road is truly like, and the toll it takes on the troubadour's emotional life.
This brings about the first truly emotional reaction from Fermín that is not anger or frustration. What does this young boy feel, when he hears this melody, close to his heart, played so beautifully, at that particular time? Yes, there are unanswered questions, but a very sensitive Ciro Guerra has left us valuable clues which are immersed in the music, and also in the matrix of cultural references which appear throughout. Pay close attention to all of the characters who don't speak in the film. Much is communicated by their timely appearance, and the music which is played/sung when they walk into this life-changing journey.
Indeed, do not watch this film expecting usual Hollywood feel-good endings, hearty relationships between the characters, or all answers to be revealed point-blank. You will get none of that. Ciro Guerra has opened a path for Criollo filmmakers which had been largely unexplored.
The film is brilliant in what it reveals, but genius in all it conceals: like life itself.
Well done, we expect much more from Ciro in the future.
A beautiful film that is in no hurry to unfold (and it shouldn't be because "being in a hurry" is not something the people in the movie seem to feel). Life is not easy here (you can see this etched into every character's face) but you persevere and along the way you look for, and create, beauty and kindness. I love the way the camera often moves backward, showing the characters moving from one environment into the next (they know where they're headed but we don't. The expressions on Fermin's face at the end are a complex wonder to behold (and a great topic for discussion afterward). If you are looking for an anxiety-inducing, misanthropic action-thriller then keep looking. If you want to see a poetic gem made by people who clearly see beauty in the world and know how to help us see it too, then settle down and enjoy "The Wind Journeys".
Los viajes del viento (2009), shown in the U.S. as The Wind Journeys,
was written and directed by Ciro Guerra.
This movie was fascinating to me because it opened up windows to a culture and a music with which I'm not familiar. The setting is rural northeastern Colombia, and the music is vallenato, in which the primary instrument is the accordion.
Los viajes is basically a road movie. The story is that a young man follows an older vallenato master as he wanders through rural Colombia, attempting to return an accordion which has mystical properties.
The plot consists of the people they meet, and the experiences they encounter on the journey.
Being unfamiliar with the region and its music, I can't comment on how accurately these are portrayed. The relationship between the man and the boy certainly doesn't conform to the feel-good connection that would surely develop in a U.S. film. Also, the entire movie is more like fantasy than realistic fiction or documentary. However, I admit that people from the region could say, "Actually, that's the way it is."
This is an unusual and fascinating movie, and definitely worth seeing. It will work better on a large screen than a small one, but it will be worth seeking out in either format. (We saw it at the Rochester 360-365 film festival which, despite its ridiculous name, is an excellent event.)
I'm a frequent visitor to Colombian's northern coast and this film
shows this region very well.
By the film's title and subject, I was not expecting an action film, I knew it would move slow. Maybe because of my low expectations I found this film truly wonderful! The film shows the great variety of the region and its people. The different languages and accents. The mountain and river scenes were great. The regions of Magdalena, César and Guajira are beautifully depicted.
The story was good enough for me. I liked the questions that are left unanswered. But clearly, for me, the scenery more than carried this film.
Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA...and ORLANDO, FL
Los VIAJES Del VIENTO/JOURNEYS Of The WIND is definitely an acquired taste. My wife and I were extremely tired upon commencement of our initial viewing, fell asleep and probably missed nearly half the film. The vibrant music and some of the images kept on resonating in our brains, so we decided to see it again. Lucky twist of fate, that.
JOURNEYS Of The WIND (My title translation) took us places we had never been, showed us sights we had never seen and treated us to music we had never heard. One thing is for sure: Majagual, Colombia is about as far away from Hollywood as you could ever get! 28 year-old director Ciro Guerra's stated goal in making JOURNEYS: Share his spiritual communion connection with Vallenatos. (A style of Colombian music, the popularity of which has been growing exponentially outside its borders for two decades)
With one momentary, inconspicuous exception, there are literally no "Time-markers" in JOURNEYS. Like music itself, this film is timeless. A folkloric Faustian music video psycho-drama that should appeal to anyone who early one Sunday morning might say "Today I feel like an art exhibit in the morning, an international music festival in the afternoon and an exotic foreign film in the evening!" JOURNEYS facilitates doing all three at once.
Director Guerra purposefully uses each frame as a canvass. Music in cinema is usually tailored to images as something of an afterthought. Here, it seems as if Guerra has molded his visuals to the music, with a startlingly refreshing and keenly aesthetic look. JOURNEYS, reflecting real life, does not spoon feed you anything...S**t Happens!...You then make of it what you may. One final point I found particularly interesting: The oblique warning JOURNEYS offers to all those who attain a measure of fame to avoid falling under the spell of their own persona spin! 9* (Perhaps 10* after 3rd viewing?) ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!!!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . it's a long way to walk. Especially if you have cheap shoes, or are with someone who won't talk. The only spoiler you could write for this story is that writer\director Ciro Guerra leaves EVERYTHING to the viewers' imaginations. Did Ignacio, possessor of the "devil's accordion," steal it from his master, Guerro? Why is the wind always blowing during THE WIND JOURNEYS? Is that some sort of truth-in-advertising gimmick? How many of the fighters die in the machete duel--one, both, or none? Why is there a tribe of Eskimos living without ice? Did Fermin ever pay back the nice lady for the shoes? Why didn't the crowd at the festival like Ignacio's song about the wooden toy horse? Did Fermin take up marathon running at the end? Did the lady in the rocking chair try for the Pitter Patter of even more little feet with Ignacio? Why weren't there any polkas? (Lawrence Welk will probably turn over in his grave when he sees this!)
there is a certain depth and a certain shallowness in this movie. i am
going to speak about the first.
the little boy chasing his master is not supposed to be getting something explicit, as somebody commented here. the very fact that he has a nervous breakdown in the middle of the story, is enough teaching. As consequence, he tries his own path and is very bold in doing so. Although the story will not allow him to follow this type of courage yet, he does try. This is one of the most important things for him. Saying that I CAN DO IT.
the second thing the boy does get, although the average spectator does not seem to see this, is that the experience is not refused to him by his master. the master constantly taunts him, denies him, etc. as the boy says, but this is just a very select and appropriate way that this great master treats his maybe even greater apprentice. his art is no ordinary school, it's also a way of living, of understanding your place in society, etc. Although this seems very romantic and select, it's the way he does it, and not by being practical, sociable, etc.
the things that are not said or done are the most important. that's why a lot of people don't get this film at all. it's not for everybody. you must be a little rebel and also you must have already followed your rebellion a little in order to get the film.
the boy will also get a full image of his master by the end of the film, a master with many weaknesses, except his talent and spiritual endurance.
the ending has a very special atmosphere. it is a sentimental ending. the dead master teaches the living one a very nice lesson, through his living wife and children. the living one gets to teach the young apprentice a lesson, although still not very explicit (there is only one glaze into the apprentice eyes). it is the first time the master is not singing for money or in order not to get killed, and it is still not for such reasons as pleasure or love. it's a very special reason, or reasons. I see it as a duty.. art becomes a duty for those who are masters. it's not just money or entertainment or ordinary love. it's a duty to God, to true love, to life and to innocence.
i really like the way characters keep to their course in this classical movie, have some kind of modesty in them and are not very informed about the future. the mother sends the boy to the troubadour master, because she knows he can teach him things she cannot. the master itself does not control the situation very well, almost dies or is in the danger to die many times and always keeps this side of him in which he himself is an appearance. The boy is the most risk assuming character, more appropriate to his age, and manages to do well in very difficult situations, like a hero, but without really knowing where he heads to. He admits that in front of a woman who asks him why he made all this long journey. He sincerely admits 'I don't know'.
the director himself portrays beautifully a lot of situations and traditions in which life or beauty surpasses logic and when he himself would admit the same thing as the boy: 'I don't know'
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After the death of his wife a elder accordion maestro Ignacio Carrillo
(Marciano Martínez) decides that time has come to part with his
profession. The dispirited musician therefore undertakes a long journey
throughout Colombia to return the devil's accordion to his teacher -
only than will he be able to lift the curse, which forces his life to
be filled with music. On leaving the village he is joined by a young
boy Fermin (Yull Núñez), who wishes to be taught in the arts of the
accordion and return home with a new found fame.
More like a fable (devoid however of magic or mythical creatures), than a typical feature, the film slips us through many exquisite locations as we follow the two heroes. The majestic background acts like a supporting character in the story, where it creates a mood and also is the counterpoint for the grim mysterious finale. Full with odd and quirky events and persons we also get to catch a glimpse of a different world, not centred around Western culture, but on very local traditions. This is mostly done without the use of words, but through situations punctuated by songs. Its important to note that although the movie permeates with music their is none in the background - all songs are played by the characters, whilst without them their is only the silence of nature.
The plot as it is is scarce, but it needs to be underlined that the story, built around music and concepts of destiny, is well told and needs no add-ons to punctuate the story, which does need to be deciphered to be fully understood. My take on it is as follows: As Ignacio struggles to end his addiction to music and all the hardships it has caused (endless journeys, roadside lovers and concurrent children) he is faced with a youthful Fermin, who wishes to take on the same path. Ignacio is driven by no ulterior goal or love of music. He simply can not stop playing, can not live without his instrument, but at the same time only money seems to motivate him to continue playing the accordion - not out of joy, but out of necessity and an inability to chose a different path in life. Destitute at his fate he tries to dissuade Fermin from taking a similar path, constantly stating that his young companion lacks any credible talent. Despite this Fermin continues the journey and when an occasion comes he proves the old maestro to be wrong. But only when they both reach their destination odes Fermin understand the old man. Once there they find only a coffin with the remains of Ignacio's teacher, surrounded by his many children. Once there he heart-wrenchingly plays the same tune, that Fermin inadvertently tried to perform earlier in the story. Ignacio remains with the accordion fated to live at his days playing his accordion, whilst Fermin cries at the realisation of the amount of sacrifice and hardships, that music brings to its creator. He leaves accompanied only by a harsh silence and the brutal power of nature.
Nonetheless "The Wind Journeys" is far from flawless. Whereas it remains unanimously beautiful in sound and in picture it falls into a self-imposed artistic trap, where scenes of people staring at each other with supposedly meaningful gazes (as if borrowed from a Sergio Leone spaghetti western) are input too often and you suddenly start seeing past the story being told and visualise the actors following the directors suggestions. The story itself very dangerously borders on the line of becoming overly superficial, while the message itself does reek of old-age stories about the indescribable sufferings of an artist. Despite the credible storytelling, beautiful landscapes and underlying mystical force that the movie manages to create, I failed to accept the story and its self-serving context.
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