Jauja | Chicago Reader

Jauja

109 minutes 2014

This fifth feature by the brilliant Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso is his first with professional actors and a period setting, yet it meshes thematically with his other work. Like Los Muertos (2004) and Liverpool (2008), it follows an introvert as he traverses an increasingly forbidding natural environment, the story growing more enigmatic (and, in this case, dreamlike) as it progresses. Viggo Mortensen stars as a Danish surveyor living on a Spanish outpost in the Patagonian desert sometime in the early 19th century; when his teenage daughter runs away, he follows, though he has little idea of how to survive in the wild. The sparse narrative alludes to the genocide of South America's indigenous population and to contemporary viewers' detachment from colonial history, though the film is such an immersive and sensual experience that saying it's "about" either of those subjects would be reductive. In subtitled Danish and Spanish.

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Jauja

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