A colleague and I were lucky enough to attend the “Voyagers Without a Trace” premier Thursday, Oct. 22 at OMSI. As the show time approached, the lobby quickly filled with people waiting to get their seats. The main Auditorium was packed with people, there a few whom had to flow over to the Planetarium.
Before the film started, music artist, Jenny Conlee serenaded us with her accordion. The beautiful French music helped create the ambiance of where the film’s foundation originated.
According to the Facebook page of “Voyagers Without Trace,” the director and center of the film, Ian McCluskey, stumbled upon a roadside marker indicating the travels of a French trio. It was from this moment of chance in which McCluskey was inspired to uncover what happened to the three adventurers who had nicknamed themselves “the voyagers without trace.”
Back in 1938, newlyweds, Geneviève and Bernard and their friend Antoine set off from France and started their voyage from Green River, Wyoming and ended three months later in Lee’s Ferry, Arizona. Along their travels, the trio documented everything in 16mm color film.
While the film mainly takes place in the present, it compares and contrasts McCluskey’s journey to the French trio’s journey back in 1938. McCluskey retraces their steps and stops in the same three rest stops as the trio did.
According to the description on the Facebook page, the film is a tale of two journeys, woven together by place, this exhilarating story speaks to the desire set out on great adventures and to leave something for others to find.
This description sums up what the film entails. When I think of a documentary, I think of long lecture b-rolls in front of black and white pictures or short movie clips. McCluskey’s documentary was not that.
His film portrayed those three aspects Professor Richard Jobs explained in my interview with him National Geographic combining with historical dimensions, a contemporary outdoor, nature recreation whitewater dimension and McCluskey literally retracing the trio’s routes, reliving their adventure.
Hopefully, McCluskey is able to come to Pacific and share his film on campus.
McCluskey and the rest of the “Voyagers Without Trace” team did a phenomenal job in producing this film. It was as if McCluskey was taking his audience along his journey retracing the routes and his journey learning about Geneviève, Bernard and Antoine. This 80 minute film was definitely worth watching and experiencing.