Embrace of the Serpent

Embrace of the Serpent ★★★★

[Favorites—2010s] [2015—Ranked]

Recalling such films as Apocalypse Now (1979) and Fitzcarraldo (1982), Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s striking third feature, Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente), tracks a pair of mythical, quasi-ethnographic journeys into the heart of the Amazon to explore and comment on the destructive powers of colonialism. It is loosely inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers: German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Harvard-educated American biologist Richard Evans Schultes. In the film, the two scientists travel, separately, through the Colombian Amazon during the early twentieth century to document the indigenous cultures in general and to look for a rare and sacred healing plant called “yakruna” (fictional) in particular. Unlike most thematically similar efforts, it is wholly embracing of the indigenous perspective.

[Please read the full review @ Yam Magazine]

Arsaib liked these reviews