READ MORE: Cannes Review: ‘Embrace Of The Serpent’ Is A Soulful, Strange And Stunning Discovery
The Amazon can be a terrain both treacherous and placidly beautiful. In its winding thickets there are immersive stories of friendship, betrayal, discovery and violence. Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” is one such film that sets about showcasing the complexities that so many Amazonian tribesmen have experienced over the past few generations as Westernization and capitalism have come to creep into their lives.
Told over the course of two timelines, one set in 1909 and the other in 1940, the beautiful black-and-white Colombian film tells the story of Karamakate, the shaman and last surviving member of his tribe. As his life in the Amazon slowly begins to dissipate with the arrival of Westerners and eager religious opportunists, he develops close relationships with two scientists, both arriving 30 years apart from each other, who are in search of the mysteriously healing psychedelic Yakruna plant.
The film has been shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and it previously screened at the prestigious Director’s Fortnight Award at the Cannes Film Festival, along with being nominated for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film.
Oscilloscope Laboratories will release the lauded film in New York on February 17 and in LA on February 19.