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Wind Journeys

1 rating: 3.0
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Genre: Foreign
1 review about Wind Journeys

See? Weird Al isn't the only one who plays these things!

  • Jul 6, 2010
(special thanks to Film Movement for providin me with a screener!)

I live in Arizona and before that lived in Palm Springs, CA. Prior to that I lived in Seattle, but that doesn't matter to this discussion. It was while living in Palm Springs that I began to learn how important the accordion is in Mexican music. This is apparently due to a large number of German settlers who ended up in Northern Mexico and brought their music with them. What I hadn't known until seeing this movie was how big accordions apparently are even in places farther south than Mexico, like Colombia, the setting of this latest movie from Film Movement.

This isn't the Colombia you're used to seeing in TV and movies. It's not the Colombia of drug lords or revolutionaries. No, it's the Colombia of people living in small towns, eking out a meager existence and enjoying some very interesting music.

The movie tells the story of Ignacio, a renowned accordion player, who leaves on a mission to return a horned accordion (don't ask), to its rightful owner. Tagging along is a teenage boy who wants to learn how to play the accordion so that he can impress a girl back home. Why Ignacio didn't just send the thing via UPS is beyond me, but I guess if he had, we wouldn't have had a story.

To a great extent this film reminds me of a martial arts movie, or a Western. You have the old master and the young, would-be apprentice traveling along together on a Mission of Great Importance. Except in Spanish. With accordions.

There's a great many fascinating elements to this movie. I particularly liked a scene where there's an accordion duel that was not entirely unlike the rap duels featured in "8 Mile". Except in Spanish. With accordions. I also really loved the scenery, which showed Colombia as having a far more diverse environment than I'd expected.

This was a very entertaining, if not perfect, movie. It does drag a bit in the first and third acts, but otherwise is full-on. Besides, where else will you see an accordion duel?

=== Short Subject ===

This month's short subject is a film called "Danzak" from Peru. It centers around a ten-year-old girl whose father is dying. He's a dancer who uses a device not unlike scissors in his dancing. He asks his daughter to round up some people so that he can have one last dance, while her mother runs around doing everything she can to get him medicine so that he can live just a little longer.

This was a really great short film. I'd never heard of this kind of dancing and found it to be really interesting, plus it was cool hearing a language, Quechua, that I've not heard before. It's a good compliment to the main feature and a decent stand-alone piece.

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