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Donkeyote

  • In person

Manolo leads a simple life on the rural outskirts of a town in southern Spain; more often than not, he sleeps in the open air, and spends his days roaming the countryside. His constant companions are his phlegmatic but lovable donkey, Gorrión (“Sparrow”); his excitable dog, Zafrana; and, at his daughter’s insistence, his cell phone. Now in his seventies, Manolo wants to embark on one last adventure: he plans to go to America and walk the 2,200-mile Trail of Tears, the path of the Cherokees’ nineteenth-century forced march west. And he aims to take Gorrión with him. The title pun fairly begs us to see Manolo’s quest as quixotic; certainly his family, not to mention travel agencies and embassies, think he’s tilting at a prize only he sees as winnable. But Donkeyote’s irony—and beauty—is that the viewer comes to see Manolo and his world on his terms, and often through Gorrión’s eyes. The understanding between man and animal has rarely been so intimately conveyed as it is through Julian Schwanitz’s stunning cinematography.

Judy Bloch