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The Voyage Review

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Unhappy with his new stepfather, Martin sets out on his bicycle to find his real father, which takes him across the Andes and the Amazon, where he conjures up a concoction of animals with his imagination. The plot doubles up as a inspirational message from the director to the people of South America, telling them only they have the power to help themselves.

★★★★

A smooth mixture of stunningly beautiful camerawork and bitter two-fingers-to-them-all political satire, this moving allegory is a broadside from director Solanas to all those who exploit Latin America.

Contemptuous of his stepdad, 17-year-old Martin (Quiroz) gets on his mountain bike to look for his anthropologist father, pedalling across the continent from Tierra del Fuego to Peru, the Andes and the Amazon. Along the way he comes across an assortment of imaginary cartoon characters, sometimes in surreal settings, lending the film a dreamy and mythic quality.

Inevitably, some of the barbed commentary will be lost on those not up to speed on South American politics, but much of it is so broad — people happily living in a flooded city awash with turds, dignitaries receiving the American President on their knees, daily taxes in Peru, and so on — that even those who can't name the capital of Uruguay will be pinned to the wall by the parody. Solanas' message that, like the film's protagonist, Latin America must stop looking for help from someone else and stand on its own two feet, comes across loud and clear without sounding like soap-box subversion. Furthermore, it's the heartfelt conviction of someone who really has suffered for his art: Solanas was gunned down and badly wounded during post-production in a politically motivated attack.

Doubling as a story of a boy in search of his father as well as a message from the Director to his beloved home country, The Voyage leaves you feeling inspired. Accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, this crowd-pleaser sets a witty and incredible story against a magical and beautiful backdrop.

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