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featuring Kurt Wallander of Ystad, Sweden.
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Chronicler of the Winds
Originally published in Swedish as Comédia Infantil in 1995.


One night, Jose Antonio Maria Vaz hears gunfire from the deserted theatre next door to his bakery. Bemused, he races to the uppermost gallery and there beneath him on a spot-lit stage lies the wounded body of Nelio, the fabled street urchin, renowned throughout the city for living on his wits. Gasping, Nelio asks to be taken to the roof to breathe in the beautiful air, fresh off the Indian Ocean. There on the theatre roof, his life ebbing away, Nelio begins his story.

At the age of five, Nelio witnessed his village burned to the ground, and the brutal massacre of his people by bandits. He himself escaped by chance; a man handed Nelio a gun and ordered him to shoot another boy, instead he turned the gun on the bandit, shot and ran. He made his way to the coast, encountering bizarre characters en route who gave him guidance. Upon arrival in the city Nelio joined a rough street gang, and began a very different way of life. A dazzling departure from the master of crime, Henning Mankell's "Chronicler of the Winds" takes us to the African continent, a place for which the author has a great passion. It is an expertly crafted fable.

Film Synopsis from The Portland Mercury:
A young boy escapes the horrors of Mozambique's civil war to become leader to a group of street children. Proclaimed a healer by those around him, he finds his new popularity can't protect him from the war.

Film Review From Rishika of IOFilms:
BASED on Swedish author Henning Mankell's novel, the story of Nelio (the bright-eyed Sergio Titos), a street kid in Mozambique, is a fantastical journey from the horror of civil war in the countryside to the daily struggle for survival on the streets of the capital city. A magical lizard woman, a disappearing dwarf and spirits of the dead all cross Nelio's path on his journey. Surprisingly uplifting, the film is carried by a gang of non-actor street kids as they create what enjoyment they can out of life despite the odds against them.

Nelio is found fatally wounded on the stage of the local theater by Jose the baker. Nelio insists on spending his remaining hours telling his tale to this sympathetic man who would prefer to send for help. Nelio's village is torn apart by gun-wielding night marauders and Nelio himself is rounded up for a rebel training camp. He makes his escape to the city where he hooks up with a group of street kids who show him the ropes. Nelio becomes the de facto leader of the group, despite being a mere ten years old. He also begins demonstrating unusual healing powers, which will abandon him at a crucial moment.

Though director Nordlund makes no attempt to play down the brutal violence of the civil war, nor the meanness of street life, Nelio's story emphasizes how one person can touch the lives of others. Upbeat music and comic scenarios resist the downward pull of poverty. Hierarchies of race and privilege are dealt with obliquely: a light-skinned hand gives a penny to Nelio as he begs in the market; the street kids outwit light-skinned property owners and security guards. While the end may seem a little naive in its hopefulness, the film makes its case on the strength of the street kids' will to live, and the potential awakening of adults from the deadening effects of the war.

Film Review From New Internationalist Magazine:
For ten-year-old Nelio in the Mozambique-based Comedia Infantil it is a child's innocence and spirituality that offers some hope. Nelio has seen his village burned down and witnessed atrocities to his family. After shooting his guerrilla captor, he flees to Maputo. En route, in mystical images reminiscent of The Night of the Hunter, he seems to be protected by the local wildlife. In the capital he scrapes a living among the local street children and gains a reputation as a healer. But he is not free from his past, and his story -- told in flashbacks -- captures the hardships and displacement caused by civil war. That the child actors are real-life streetchildren (leading actor Sergio Titos apparently ran away from his orphanage to audition for the part) adds another dimension to Solveig Nordlund's film while raising issues about exploitation.



Book Information
Language Title Publication Date Translator
Flag of Sweden Swedish Comédia Infantil 1995 N/A
Flag of the United Kingdom English Chronicler of the Winds 2006 Tiina Nunnally
Flag of Germany German Der Chronist der Winde 2002  
Flag of The Netherlands Dutch Verteller van de wind 1998 Cora Polet
Flag of France French Comédia Infantil 2003 Agneta Segol, Pascale Brick-Aïda
Flag of Italy Italian ??    
Flag of Spain Spanish Comédia infantil 2002  
Flag of Spain Catalan Comèdia infantil 2002  
Flag of Spain Basque ??    
Flag of Norway Norwegian ?? 1998  
Flag of Finland Finnish ??    
Flag of Denmark Danish Et gadebarns løfte    
Flag of Iceland Icelandic ??    
Flag of Portugal Portuguese Comédia Infantil 1998  
Flag of Greece Greek Η κωμωδια τησ παιδικησ ηλικιασ 1999  
Flag of Poland Polish ??    
Flag of Slovenia Slovenian Šepetalec vetra 2005 Aleš Uèakar
Flag of Turkey Turkish ??    
Flag of Japan Japanese ??    
Flag of South Korea Korean ??    
Flag of Vietnam Vietnamese ??    

Film Information
Comédia Infantil was filmed in 1998, three years after it was published in Sweden.

Product List
Image Title Notes Vendor
Product Thumbnail Chronicler of the Winds Publisher: Harvill Secker
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
ISBN: 1860469906
Released: 2006-Apr-6
Status: Unreleased
Markets: Flag
Product Thumbnail Chronicler of the Winds Publisher: New Press
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
ISBN: 1595580581
Released: 2006-Apr-15
Status: Unreleased
Markets: Flag
Product Thumbnail Comédia infantil Publisher: TusQuets
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
ISBN: 8483102056
Released: 2002-Dec
Status: In Print
Markets: Flag Flag Flag
Product Thumbnail Comédia Infantil Publisher: Ordfront
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9173246107
Released: 1995
Status: Unknown
Markets: Flag
Product Thumbnail Nelio Publisher: Fjord Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
ISBN: 0940242729
Released: 2000-Feb-1
Status: Never printed?
Markets: Flag Flag Flag Flag
DVD & Video
Image Title Notes Vendor
Product Thumbnail Comédia Infantil DVD Logo Publisher: Warner
Format: DVD, Region 2, PAL, Color
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Language: Portuguese with English & Swedish & Subtitles
Released: 2005-10-26
Status: Available