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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.