WindJourneys is kinda cool

Wind Journeys is a well done movie. It takes place across rural Columbia. The central character is a quiet and understated tough guy with a mysterious past. He is widely respected as a troubador, but acts like he’s trying to quit. The story is helped along by the addition of a boy who follows him around, in his quest to return the cursed accordian to it’s origional owner. The audience slowly learns the story as the boy does.

The movie, like the main character, is quietly slow-moving, but very intrigueing. The scenery is beautiful, and the director takes many opportunities to use it in the cinematography. The story is so real, that even when the acting is mediocre and the plotline is full of faerie-tale logic, the movie remains completely convincing. I felt like I was watching real life events, or a documentary. The idea that the accordian belonged to the devil and takes control over the player, is presented as a joke but the boy and the audience are left guessing through most the movie if it is true. I liked how the troubador’s past and personality is slowly uncovered throughout the film. I enjoyed it. The story reminded me of a Ralf Maccio and Joe Seneca movie I liked as a kid, called “Crossroads”. Wind Journeys had a similar story, playing on the natural occult mystique of music and the traveling musician’s life, but overall much better done.

The slow pace of the story might be innapropriate for some veiwers, but it is reasonably wholesome. There is a violent machete duel on a bridge that is beautifully shot, a little cussing that is translated strangely, and some occult/santaria references that could offend some Christians. This film didn’t have any of the kind of hateful or formulaic glorified violence that offends me.

What I enjoyed most in this film was the slow revealing of the story, cultural context, and main character. I’m completely unfamiliar with the culture of Colombian Troubadores. The film shows a window on this tradition, then rather than explicitly explaining the details of what a Troubador is, it just shows various moments and memories from the man’s life so that I was gradually clued in to the qualities of a rural Colombian Troubador that are important to the story. Mississippi Delta Bluesmen who ride the rails and hitch-hike are the closest parallel in our culture to the kind of “troubador” depicted here. There is a similar lonliness, poverty, and grace.

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