Sunday, January 24, 2016

Carvalho's Journey (2015) New York Jewish Film Festival 2016

One of the best films at this year's New York Film Festival is one that really should be seen on the big screen. The film is a portrait of Solomon Nunes Carvalho and artist and photographer who traveled with John C. Frémont on his fifth trip into the west in 1853. It was a trip that changed the man and in some small way America as well.

This really cool film is a look back into America 160 years ago when the West was barely open and the the mixing of ethnic groups didn't really happen. At the time the fact that Carvalho was a Jew might have kept him outside of an expedition of this sort but Freemont didn't care and took then men he needed to accomplish his task. The film reveals how various ethnic groups collided in young America,including the Native Americans and the Mormons in nonjudgmental ways ways that most documentaries don't go into. It is this ability to portray America in the 1850's is one of the big joys of this film.

Another of the joys is that much of the film was shot in the American west in the places that Carvalho actually was. We see the places as they are now and in the sketches made from Carvalho's pictures. Seeing them on the big screen- really big is just awe inspiring.

But the best thing about this film is that this is just a grand adventure. Truly this is the stuff of legend. This is pure movie adventure and the sort of thing that I can't imagine has never been made into an adventure film. Its amazing to think what Carvalho and the other men went through. While we know Carvalho gets back how he does it and what he experiences is not clear to us until it happens.

I absolutely loved this film. Go see it,

The film plays tomorrow at the New York Jewish Film Festival. For tickets and more information go here

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