Has a movie ever influenced your vacation plans? Check out today's Ask the Critic question and post your own
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Genghis Blues
Credit: Genghis Blues: Adrian Belic

Has a movie ever influenced your vacation plans?

I saw A Little Romance as a child and I have always wanted to go to Venice. Have you ever chosen a vacation destination because of something you saw in a movie? — Page Coleman

This one goes on the wish list, not the been-there-done-that itinerary: The offbeat and haunting 1999 documentary Genghis Blues follows San Francisco blues musician and self-taught ”throat singer” Paul Peña to the mysterious, minuscule, far-away Central Asian country of Tuva — it’s somewhere between Mongolia and Siberia — where Peña enters a throat-singing (or khoomei) competition. It so happens that years and years ago, I watched a vividly memorable episode of NOVA in which Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman talked about his obsession with Tuva, then an impossible place for an American to reach. And, it turns out, filmmaking brothers Roko and Adrian Belic from Evanston, Ill., watched the program too. Feynman died before he gained permission to get there. But the NOVA show inspired the Belics to make the trek, and the documentary has inspired me. I don’t suppose frequent-flyer miles will be of any help.

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