Embrace Of The Serpent (18)
'+ Special Introduction
Thu 01 Jan 1970 - Thu 01 Jan 1970
Dir. Ciro Guerra, Columbia, Venezuela, Argentina, 2015, 125 mins
Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra presents a breathtaking journey through the Amazon following the interwoven stories of two European explorers; one in the early 1900s, the other 40 years later.
In 1909, an ailing German explorer enlists the help of a young shaman in his search for a rare and exotic flower that he believes could cure him of his fatal illness. The pair journey through rivers and jungles ravaged by European colonialism. In a parallel narrative set in the same region in 1940, an American explorer conducts his own search for the elusive flower in the company of the same, now aged shaman in a landscape brutalised by the rubber trade.
Shot in mesmerising monochrome, the film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) and its rich visual texture captures a haunting mysticism and an unstoppable moral conviction. Embrace of the Serpent is by turns astonishing and terrifyingly ferocious; both a hypnotically beautiful ode to life in the Amazon and an unequivocally searing critique of the harrowing effects of colonialism.