Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New-Age Quest

The Longest Way 1.0 - one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.

In November 2007, Chris Rehage decided to set out and walk from Germany to China...over the mountains, through the fields and rain, with no job and little money. This video is a brief documentary of his journey from the perspective of his hair growth both on his head and face.

While the video initially may seem trite or cute, it cuts deep. The aspects to pay attention to are not the slow growth of the hair, but the ever-changing background, the confused or cheerful people in the background, the friend whom he made along the way and had to part ways with in order to continue on his journey, and finally a girl he met and fell in love with, who he could only stay and travel with for a brief amount of time before he had to continue on his journey.

The journey itself is a new-age bildungsroman in which the protagonist finds a part of him or herself that could only be found through a quest which involves leaving the confines of the familiar and entering into the unknown (often physically far away from where they have lived up until that point). We, are viewers, see Chris' heartbreak, success, pain, and can almost feel the ache of saying goodbye to his friends, and feel the whip of the wind and rain on our faces when we see his again when he finally journeys back home and his weather-beaten cheeks and eyes announce he has found himself.

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