Review: A Windy Story (1988)

Directed by: Joris Ivens | 76 minutes | biography, fantasy, documentary

Joris Ivens’ latest film is a fascinating spectacle that connects different forms to arrive at a semi-abstract reflection on the life and work of the famous filmmaker Ivens.

There is a narrative line in the film, a common thread in which Ivens walks around as an old man, in conversation with friends or colorful characters he meets, with the aim of being able to capture the wind on film one day. . The viewer comes into contact with Chinese legends and locations, with images from Iven’s own films, with Joris Ivens transforming into a dragon, and all kinds of dream-like situations.

Although Ivens had previously captured the wind very satisfactorily in ‘Pour le mistral’, the context here is slightly more abstract and the personal mission that Ivens attaches to this for this film is quite a nice justification for the subject. The individual episodes are sometimes somewhat haphazard and here and there moments have something pretentious, but at the same time they are also special images that Ivens presents to the viewer. Images of a gigantic Buddha carved into the rock, and beautiful recordings of nature, which, by their coupling to (only) music, are reminiscent of Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Qatsi’ trilogy. It is also endearing to see Ivens walking around in the setting of the classic ‘Le voyage dans la lune’ by George Méliès, a filmmaker who marked Ivens’s first encounter with cinema.


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