Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Movies To Move You: Argentina and "Historias Minimas"

A new blog series combining the love of travel and film to help inspire your next destination abroad! Hope you enjoy it!


Another gorgeous day in Argentina
Ever get that feeling you just want to get away from it all? I mean, if you’re reading a travel blog I assume the answer is yes. It happens to me quite often, but being a wage slave I can’t always follow the “call of the wild”. The funny thing about these calls are that they can come at the strangest times. I mean, there I was, lounging around at home on a Sunday afternoon and all of a sudden I was seized by the desire to go to South America!

I had just decided to knock a name off my long “to watch” list, and had picked up Historias Minimas (Intimate Stories) by the master Argentinian director Carlos Sorin. Historias Minimas is a story full with Argentinian soul and way of life. As we watch the windswept steppes of Santa Cruz in Argentinian Patagonia, we are reminded how small and insignificant we really are in the face of nature… In fact, even the title makes more sense: the actual translation is “Minimal Stories”. And compared to the majestic South American continent, our day to day lives are pretty damn minimal…

Small in comparison to Argentina's landscape
So, “what’s the story” in Historias Minimas? An old man journeys to a distant town on a search for his lost dog. A traveling salesman is preparing a birthday surprise for the child of a pretty widow he has met in his travels. A poor peasant woman is selected to participate in a TV show where she may win a trip to Brazil or a food processor. All these stories come together and drift apart, along with many other little things to make a perfect mirror of life, full of laughter, irony and tragedies both small and large. ven if these stories sound slightly unconnected there is one major connector for all: the road. Indeed, it is slightly unfair to say that Sorin puts Patagonia on center-stage: Patagonia IS the stage.

Patagonian steppes
But please don’t go thinking that steppes are all Patagonia has to offer. If nature as in animals and wildlife is your thing – Patagonia boasts an actual UNESCO world heritage sight! The Valdes Peninsula in Chubut province has earned the title due to its importance as a nature reserve. Whales, seals, penguins and 181 species of birds have made the area their home.

Let’s not forget that Patagonia is actually situated at the southernmost part of the planet! Glaciers attract visitors from all over the world. This ice field is, incidentally, the world’s third biggest fresh water reserve.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina
If it's history you seek, Patagonia has been inhabited from around 10,000 B.C. onwards. One of the most significant artifacts in the region is “La Cueva De Las Manos” (The Cave of The Hands). This is a series of caves filled with early paintings dating from as far back in time as 8.000 years. The image I find most eerie is the cave that actually gives the formation its name: a cave where hundreds of images of human hands are stenciled on the walls….

Are you beginning to see a pattern emerging here? 10,000 year-old caves, giant glaciers, whales in the ocean… Majesty. Sheer, natural majesty. Patagonia is the place to go if you want to see a place where nature is the leading actor. And Historias Minimas is a film where the little things in life that are actually so important but get overlooked get center stage for a change.

Nature takes center stage in Patagonia
Essie is
a good friend and an esteemed co-blogger who is surprised, excited and honored to be included in Connvoyage. Essie is a citizen of the world, a child of a multicultural and multinational family, living in a huge metropolis, speaking four languages and watching DVDs for a living (yes really, no she's not a film critic and well, a girl has to make a living somehow). One day Essie became sick and tired of people asking her "So what’s good lately?” and decided to start a blog. Hence the birth of Essie's Pics.

*All photos courtesy of Aleks Ozerov.

What do you think of the new "Movies To Move You" blog series? Essie and I would love to have your feedback!

© Connie Hum 2011


  1. Essie, thank you for the post, I added the movie to my list. I would highly recommend watching a documentary 180° South very inspiring!

    Connie, thank you for featuring Patagonia and exposing my Patagonia pictures to a wider audience.

  2. @Aleks I might have to check out that documentary as well! Thank you for letting me use your pics! They deserve to be seen more, they're STUNNING!

  3. ahhh...I once had to write a paper on that movie...didn't like it too much, but I gotta admit that Argentina ist wonderfulllllllllllllllllll

  4. @Judith Too bad you didn't care much for the film, but you're right, Argentina is still pretty spectacular!

  5. Argentina is great although there are some part of the film which is boring.

  6. @Alex : Thank you for sharing, I'll be sure to check it out!

    @all: Sorin's style can be a bit of an "acquired taste" but I still reckon its well worth a gander, and the landscape footage in it is pretty amazing in parts :)

  7. LOVE the film & travel combo! and of course, having an argentine partner for 10 years and traveling there often, i'm glad you're encouraging folks to visit that great country. :) still haven't made it to patagonia myself yet, but it's on the list!

  8. @lorna - the roamantics Thanks for the feedback, Lorna! I figured there must be more people out there who love films AND travel! I can't believe you've been going to Argentina for 10 years and haven't been to Patagonia! That's going to be my first stop after seeing all those amazing pics!

  9. Hopefully they have this on Netflix. Will check it right now. Thanks much for the suggestion!

  10. @Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World I'd be surprised if Netflix doesn't. They seem to have every single movie ever made! Hope you enjoy it! Especially since you will soon be witnessing the Argentinian landscape for yourself!

  11. @Jill-Jack travel the world : I hope you enjoy it! I get the feeling - although you guys would know better of course- that the film successfully portrays the argentinian soul an the country. Happy watching! :)


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