Black Wind



Black Wind (Spanish: Viento Negro) is a Mexican drama film from 1964, directed by Servando González, and named after a desert dust storm regarded as the worst enemy of the men building a railroad across the Great Altar Desert in Mexico.[1]
 

… Black Wind is a traditional melodrama, … enhanced by a realistic background – the vast desert country between Sonora and Baja California. The hero, Manuel Iglesias, is a rough figure-of-circumstance, trapped by conflicting devotion to his son and to his own ambitions, … the film explores the dangerous adventures of the hero and the progress of the railroad… The characters struggle toward the attainment of an ideal, but are kept within an invisible trap of life, from which the image of happiness seems incredibly near, but is hopelessly remote after all. Naturally, a story of this kind depends entirely upon the major figure, and the distinguished actor, José Elías Moreno, succeeds in bringing to Miguel the epic qualities one might expect from a modern reincarnation of Job.

Written by Albert Johnson[2]

It started off well, the set-up, the cast, the ridiculously two-dimensional Major, the repeatedly used rotating shot of the Major spiralling into rage, the winds, the train crash, the whole first half.

It just wilted in the second half.

The presence of José Elías Moreno deserved some thing more to get his teeth into; the audience of the first half deserved a better pay off in the second. The Major’s son seems to parachute into the wrong set-up and the film sinks from psycho-drama to superficial B-movie. The melting of the Major needed more than a-last-30-seconds-turnaround.

The story as it was made no sense, the victims were nearer the southern camp, the fact that the northern camp’s radio wasn’t working was irrelevant, they had a train – they could have messaged around. The audience deserved the Major and his son to be cut off, to have to rely on each other, trust each other, learn from each other, and to deal with the consequences of the animosities he’d created: to see the Major grow into that third dimension and a relationship with his son, and to tame that black rage within him. His rage was more central to the story than the desert wind, and that was the battle we were set up for but didn’t receive.

[1] wikipedia.org. Black Wind (film). Retrieved 13 November 2017.
[2] San Francisco International Film Festival. FILMS | BLACK WIND. Retrieved 13 November 2017.

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