Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Essays

The Devil Went Down to Majagual: ‘The Wind Journeys’

‘The Wind Journeys’

“Is that really the devil’s accordion?”

Ignacio Carillo (Marciano Martinez) is a legendary juglar, a wandering troubadour, in his circuit of in the hills and plains and back-country villages of Northern Colombia. His accordion is just as notorious. Two black horns jut out of the instrument, like a bull under the command of a musical matador. It is said to be the devil’s accordion. “It’s not me who plays it,” Ignacio tells his acolyte Fermin (Yull Nunez), a stubborn teenager and aspiring drummer determined to travel Ignacio’s road. “It’s the accordion. I can’t control it. That’s why I have to return it.”

Ignacio is a widower who has vowed to play no more. The film opens with the funeral of his wife and the beginning of his odyssey to return the instrument to his master Guerro. Legends and rumors swirl around the instrument. One is told to Fermin by Nine, Ignacio’s brother, who lives in a hut on a mountain plateau so high that it looks down on the clouds. “The tale of that there instrument is that of Guerra, Ignacio’s master, who won a duel with the devil. The devil, to get his revenge, put a curse on it. Whoever plays it is doomed to be a troubadour. Wandering, playing and singing till the day they die.” Nine pauses, as any good storyteller would, before delivering the punchline. “It is said that the only one who can undo the curse is Master Guerra.” He looks the boy in the eye with a grave expression. “Did you play it?”

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