Manolo wants to walk the Trail of Tears, the route used during the forced removal of Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma. But the 73-year-old Andalusian has chronic arthritis, speaks no English and more importantly: how will he get his trusty donkey into the US – and cure its fear of water? An ode to intransigence and friendship. Nominated for the VPRO Big Screen Award.
Manolo (73) is a contemporary Don Quichot: a romantic suffering from megalomania. Accompanied by his 'Sancho Panza', the (taciturn) donkey Gorrion, he treks through the hills of Andalusia. The stubborn beast is presented as a mature character; we usually see the farcical scenes from his point of view. It proves just how inseparable the duo are after having undertaken many travel adventures.
A major trek across America will be the crown on this special friendship. This grand ambition is greeted with sniggers at a travel agency. Nevertheless, Manolo is determined: nothing shall stop him. Confronted by his worried daughter, he plays down his physical ailments. This uncertainty – caused by such naive behaviour – gradually turns to admiration for the relationship between man, animal and nature. The headstrong Manolo and Gorrion lead a classic existence that continually contrasts with the highways and windmills that occasionally (literally) stand in the way of life in the great outdoors.