In the opening minutes of 100 Days of Solitude, also known as 100 Days of Loneliness (100 días de soledad), Spanish photographer José Díaz sounds like he is already regretting the journey ahead as he embarks on an adventure in a remote mountain in Spain. He describes how he departs from his family, in an almost ceremonial voice but with a tint of fear. For someone to be warranted for this journey, they would require conditioning at a high level. Regardless of having a passion for photography, I did slightly doubt his ability to fulfill this adventure, however, he most certainly proves me wrong.
100 days of solitude is not something I would be open to because I like comfortable chairs with burning fireplaces and a well-brewed cup of tea. The word solitude itself has negative connotations, likening it more to Rikers Island, which is a scenario no-one would subject themselves too. But I guess what José Díaz is doing in this eye-opening documentary is subjecting himself to loneliness to fulfill his passion. 100 Days of Solitude is a photographer’s dream, an ambition any person whose eyes dazzle at landscape photography could only aspire to.
What you learn is that this type of journey comes with sacrifices to the mind and the body. As he begins his journey he is already alarmed at the physical demands of carrying everything himself, highlighting the fact that in usual cases someone does the carrying for him. Family is also important in this documentary as it shows how mentally wearisome it can be thinking about them. José is clearly a homesick person, further demonstrating that he is sacrificing himself for something way greater that he must achieve.
The reward for José Díaz by creating 100 Days of Solitude is an incredible archive of imagery and his thought-provoking memoirs. His breathtaking shots at various landscapes and unaware animals are a thing of beauty, but when he feels lonely and tired, that’s when you truly understand the nature of this documentary. He tends to relay his thoughts like it’s an excerpt of poetry to pass the time and allow the viewer to extrapolate how he is feeling.
José Díaz’s 100 days of loneliness results in this sentimental piece of work. 100 Days of Solitude can only be appreciated.