Any work of Ruiz is complex. it is difficult to unravel a 22 minute film based on a written work by the Polish writer Jan Patocki, if you have not read it. I have not. All I know is Patocki lived in the 18th Century and is responsible for writing a novel that resulted in another more famous surrealistic film "The Saragossa Manuscript." Now Ruiz was an extensively well read individual and his body of cinematic works give ample evidence of this.
"Voyage of a Hand" is film that answers 4 questions and you never are told what those questions are. Probably it was there in Patocki's original writing.
The film is a metaphor of a traveller around the world (many Ruiz films refer to this concept). Now Ruix was an self-exile from Chile working in various European countries. In one of the sequences there is a conversation of two men talking by bird whistles only to reveal the cost of a great treasure is a mere button. The Englishman who is told this remarks "Let's call him Jim Button." Now this could not be from Patocki--it is Ruiz. Ruiz is referring to the historical "Button" the native Chilean taken from Chile as an exhibit to Britain. (refer to Chilean director Guzman's documentary film "The Pearl Button," 2015).
The palm sequence recalls Bunuel's and Dali's surrealistic short masterpiece "Un chien Andalou" (1929).
The traveler (Ruiz is an obvious reflection) is also linked to Homer's Ulysses. It is also about race and colour. The staggering last line is "I dreamt I was a negro."
Why this film is dedicated to Franck Oger the actor is a mystery to me. Knowing Ruiz there must be more to that dedication.
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