Embrace of the Serpent

Nominee
Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Awards
[A] visual astonishment…not just an ethnographic study but also a striking act of cinematic witness.

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Embrace of the Serpent

Ciro Guerra’s (THE WIND JOURNEYS) soulful, strange and stunning new film, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the top prize, the CIACE Art Cinema Award, and is Colombia’s official Oscar® entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, the third feature by Ciro Guerra and the first one shot in the Amazonian rainforest in over 30 years. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, the film centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Kock-Grünberg and Richard Evan Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant.

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT also played at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

“A visually mesmerizing exploration of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism, Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) marks an impressively realized third feature from Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra, featuring knockout black-and-white cinematography and an array of breathtaking locations.” – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

“‘Embrace of the Serpent’ is simply a work of art, and one of the most singular cinematic experiences you could hope to have in Cannes, or anywhere really. It's an absorbing, even thrilling head trip. It is a
Heart-of-Darkness voyage of discovery. It is a lament for all the lost plants and peoples of the world.” – Jessica Kiang, Indiewire’s “The Playlist”
Genre
Adventure, Drama
Runtime
125
Language
Spanish, Portuguese, German
Director
Ciro Guerra
Cast
Nilbio Torres, Jan Bijvoet, Antonio Bolivar
Awards:
Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film, Academy Awards
FEATURED REVIEW
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Colombian director Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent is a legitimate stunner, a river-trip that will mesmerize and jack with you, leaving you not quite certain, at its end, how to go about the rest of your day. The film is beautiful and ferocious, calm and torrential, a plunge into the ol' heart ...

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