Voyages

"Extraordinary"

Voyages Review


Emmanuel Finkiel, the director of Voyages, was once an assistant director to the late, great Krzystof Kieslowski (The Decalogue, Red). Perhaps from Kieslowski the French filmmaker learned to portray daily life with such quiet intensity and deep profoundness. Voyages reminds us that life is an ongoing memory, a way of coping with the present by looking into the past.

The film is composed of three separate stories about people searching for their relatives, all of whom have had lives forever changed by the horrors of the World War II. The first story begins with a group of French Holocaust survivors who make a pilgrimage to Auschwitz. On the way, they stop at an old Jewish cemetery, passing by monuments to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland. Before reaching the site of the Jewish death camp, the bus in which they travel breaks down. In distress, they argue and reminisce about their past; when they interact, the lost world of Eastern European Jewry echoes in their intonations, gestures, and language.

We witness the emotional quandary of one of the passengers, Rivka, but just when the story picks up the speed, it flows into another one: A widow living in Paris receives a phone call from a man in Lithuania who claims to be her father. She agrees to meet him, and the painful exploration of the past begins again. Is this man, whom she assumed had died in a concentration camp fifty years ago, really her father? She questions him, but the memories they share have been obscured by time and distance.

In the third and most enigmatic episode an old, Russian émigré, Vera, travels to Tel-Aviv looking for her distant relative. To her dismay, nobody in Israel speaks Yiddish and her cousin's memory is faulty. (It reportedly took Finkiel three years to find actress Esther Gorintin to play Vera, a woman whose round face and beady eyes exude tireless dignity and determination.) By a sheer accident Vera, meets Rivka on a Tel Aviv bus, whereupon the film reveals its delicate psychological premise.

Unlike many other films that deal with the Holocaust, Voyages is a film of incredible emotional subtlety. While it may only be appreciated by a patient and careful viewer, the film's pace is slow; its elaborate, long takes thicken the weight of the past. Set in a contemporary world, the film lays out the heartbreak of the post-war generation with tenderness and compassion -- and shows how that tragic legacy separates it from the rest of the world.



Voyages

Facts and Figures

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd September 1999

Distributed by: New Yorker Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 9

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.