EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE)
The shaman Karamakate waits warily by the edge of the river as a German explorer approaches. The stranger seeks the Yakuna, a legendary rare flower that can cure the man of his mysterious sickness. Only the shaman knows its location, hidden deep within the recesses of the Colombian Amazon, but he is distrustful. It is white men who made him the last of his tribe. But the explorer knows of others of his kind, and so a perilous bargain is struck. Shifting between these events in 1909 and 1949, when an older Karamakate brings another foreigner on the same journey through a ravaged jungle, this inspired visionary epic's parallel narratives play out simultaneously as an ethereal critique of colonialism based on the writings of early explorers. Ciro Guerra's masterful use of monochromatic black–and–white, stunningly symbolic landscapes, overwhelming soundscapes and haunting, elliptical editing blend together to elevate this ethnographic odyssey into a hypnotic and methodical work of pure cinema. — Landon Zakheim
Ciro Guerra is from Rio de Oro, Colombia, and studied cinema and television at the National University of Colombia. He has made three feature films to date: THE WANDERING SHADOWS, THE WIND JOURNEYS and EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, which won the CICAE Art Cinema Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
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