Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 87 min
Quest Film Productions
Journey is the allegorical story of a young woman’s struggle – outside the normal framework of space and time – to find herself. Found drifting down the Saguenay river, half-drowned and clinging to a log, the woman (GeneviPve Bujold) is rescued by Boulder Allin (John Vernon), who carries her to Undersky, his commune in the Quebec wilderness. Named after the river from which she was saved, Saguenay is haunted by memories from her past and remains unresponsive for days, drifting in and out of consciousness. She gradually becomes aware of the natural life going on around her and begins to explore it. But she senses she has brought ill fortune to this community and fears something in her past has doomed her and all who know her. Finally, she journeys back up the river to confront the nightmare of her past. By doing so, she breaks through to the present and arrives at the mouth of the river.
This is Paul Almond’s last film in the trilogy with Bujold that began with Isabel (1968)and The Act of the Heart (1970). It is presented as a dream of withdrawal and return and seems to imply a final, spiritual release – through human contact and communion with nature – from the sexual and psychic repressions of the earlier films. However, it lacks the passions of the first two and has a complexity of structure that adds little to the theme. Pretentious and obscure, Journey is the weakest film in the trilogy and ended Almond’s attempts to create a commercial art-house cinema in Quebec. It was poorly received by critics and was a box-office failure.