Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘Jauja’

Viggo Mortensen

Back in 2009, Argentine filmmaker Lisandro Alonso came to Seattle for a retrospective of his still-young career, including his new film Liverpool, which NWFF subsequently distributed in the U.S. Jauja is his first feature since that critical breakout, and his most commercial to date—though still with plenty of space for Alonso-ian mysteries.

The title, pronounced “How-ha,” refers to a legendary city of riches and happiness, but this is no treasure hunt. Set in the late 19th century, Jauja is a period piece that ostensibly takes on the genocide of Argentina’s colonial past, when soldiers were sent to exterminate the primitive “coconut heads.” Yet Alonso’s films are as much about men moving through the landscape, leaving behind the rules of civilization to become lost in the wilderness.

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