A Journey through Colombia: Ciro Guerra’s “Los viajes del viento”

Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra’s 2009 Los viajes del viento [The Wind Journeys] has been getting its share of international attention. It has been screened at film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival and the forthcoming Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (September 22-October 5, 2010.) and the BFI London Film Festival (October 13-28, 2010).

With spectacular scenes on the Colombian coast and an extraordinary musical score, tells the story of juglares [nomadic minstrels] Ignacio and Fermín, who journey together “from Majagual, Sucre, to Taroa, beyond the Guajira desert, finding on the way the enormous diversity of the Caribbean culture and surviving all kinds of adventures.”

Michael Hayden writes: “Ignacio Carrillo (Marciano Martínez) is a celebrated accordion player, a juglar, or nomadic minstrel, who has spent most of his life traveling throughout the regions of northern Colombia with his horned instrument, playing traditional music and gaining fame and favour. The death of his wife leaves him disillusioned and bitter, however, and he vows never to play the instrument again. He sets out on his donkey, heading for the distant village of Taroa, determined to return the accursed accordion to his former mentor, who was said to have originally won it in a musical duel with the devil himself. On his way, he reluctantly allows pestering teenager Fermín Morales (Yull Núñez) to tag along. The young man has a romantic notion that he may get to learn from a master and become a great juglar himself. Following his award-winning 2004 debut The Wandering Shadows, Ciro Guerra’s ambitious second feature is a real discovery, a touching odd-couple story which stunningly captures the landscapes and environs of northern Colombia, while featuring a number of jaw-dropping musical set pieces that contribute to its unique, illuminating quality.”

For more information, see http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/10891792/year/2009.html and http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/films/world_cinema_(2009)/538

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