Marciano Martinez stars in The Wind Journeys, an adventure tale from Colombia. Ciro Guerra writes and directs this moving but unsentimental epic, a follow up to his debut feature The Wandering Shadows (2004).
Search for the beloved Ignacio Carrillo (Martinez) searched for his wife Ana for 10 years. The devil, he believes, took her away. Now he wants to return his accordion to teacher Master Guerra, who won it in a duel with the demon. Fermin (Yull Nunez) follows Ignacio - who might be his father – to become his apprentice.
Ignacio wants nothing to do with the boy. He doesn’t want Fermin to be doomed as he is to wander forever, a lonely troubadour. His spirit finally breaks. He declares that he never wants to play again.
An homage to Colombia’s Caribbean The Wind Journeys is an homage to the Caribbean region of Colombia and its rich musical traditions. This is a vision quest set to music, a search for truth. The reflective, deliberate nature of the northern Colombians emerges, set to their famed accordion melodies. Stunning cinematography at over 80 locations reveals mountains, forests and fields. Vast sands reduce the travelers to specks. Ignacio teaches Fermin by example. He regrets past exploits where he unknowingly fathered many children. The determined Fermin looks forward to his future. He wants to master music and return to his fiancée back home.
Accordions duel Ignacio comes to life during an accordion duel in Becerril. Since the front runner uses sorcery, Ignacio rises to the challenge. It’s a duel of riffs and sung retorts. Ignacio’s playing captivates the audience. He becomes a medium who manifests the passion and soul of a people.
Ignacio defeats the longtime champion, but then his accordion is stabbed by an angry bystander. The only man who can repair the accordion is Nine, Ignacio’s brother who lives on a mountaintop. Miraculously, Nine restores the instrument.
Ignacio shows no enjoyment though when he plays at the next contest. He disappoints the audience with a melancholy Vallenato for a son he abandoned. Ignacio later submits to a gang leader who insists that he accompany a machete fight.
Impassive, with no joy or malice, Ignacio plays at the macabre scene. The music continues as a kind of dirge when it is over.
Fermin earns respect Fermin finally gains self-respect when he jams for voodoo drummers. With sheer will he drums a frenzied solo, and is baptized with lizard’s blood. Still receiving no acknowledgment from his teacher, Fermin proves himself again when he wins back Ignacio’s accordion after it is stolen.
The Wind Journeys is a film that grows on you. It was named Best Colombian Film at the Cartagena Film Festival. Director Ciro Guerra won an Award of the City of Rome at Cannes. (5 out of 5 stars)
The Wind Journeys 2009 / NR / 1 hr, 57 min
Cast Overview: Marciano Martínez, Yull Núñez
Director: Ciro Guerra
Genres: Music, Ethnomusical, World Cinema, Drama