Viagem de uma mão


Voyage d'une main

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  • Voyage of a Hand - Estados Unidos da América
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In Voyage of a Hand Ruiz constructs another of his concentric labyrinths that hits us right in the multifaceted center of our confusion. We might decide that what we receive was a story full of intentions; or we might decide that it was a spineless joke empty of sense or direction. In any case, it will be difficult to deny the acid sense of humor that animates the film.

The first image (a hand caressing the statue of a naked black woman) and the accompanying sounds (hysterical laughs over wincing strings) sets the tone.

The film develops into a series of very theatrical sequences which will tell the "story" of a man and his left hand -- a voice-over informs us that "his hate for Europe could very well be the result of his orphaned childhood oppressed by an authoritarian governess." We jump to a scene where three men discuss the price of.... One of them says of the man next to him that "he has stolen the soul of his brother. He had two souls. Later his brother stole all of his, he has nothing now.... He sells himself for a coin." They proceed to discuss the price by whistling one to the other.

In the next scene a doctor says while looking at the man's hand, "You are sick. Looking attentively at your hand I can see maps of Europe, Africa, and Mongolia mixed all together. If I look closer, I can see the Ajax constellation. If I look even closer I can see myself looking at your hand. And if I look ever closer I see an infinity of hands at the interior of your hand." In another scene, the man confesses that "my secret is the story of The Skin of Grief by Balzac. It is quite my own story."

In another scene he affirms that all travelers make the same trip: "the same one that Ulysses did. And I have discovered that all voyages have the form of a hand." At one point a Chinese doctor reads a poem that he sees in the hand. Later we discover that the man has cut his hand off and he has sewed his eyes because now he can feel all through his amputated hand. At the end of the film the man entrusts to us that before killing himself he will confess his last dream: "I dreamt I was a Negro." (Jordi Torrent)

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