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Embrace of the Serpent (2015)Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

Adventure, Drama

best
THE VERY BEST

8.7

movie

Argentina, Colombia

Aboriginal, Catalan, German

Discussion-sparking, Instructive, Thought-provoking

2015

Ciro Guerra

Antonio Bolivar, Brionne Davis, Jan Bijvoet

125 min

Synopsis

The epic story of the first contact, encounter, approach, betrayal and, eventually, life-transcending friendship, between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, last survivor of his people, and two scientists that, over the course of 40 years, travel through the Amazon in search of a sacred plant that can heal them. Inspired by the journals of the first explorers of the Colombian Amazon, Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evans Schultes.

Our Take

8.7
Luke Janela

This movie is gentle and utterly chaotic, intimate and massive, beautiful and ugly… it tries to be so many things and somehow pulls it off. It tells two stories parallel in time, based on the real-life diaries of two European scientists who traveled through the Amazon in the early and mid-twentieth century. Their stories are some of the only of accounts of Amazonian tribes in written history. The main character and guide in the movie is a shaman who met them both. At times delicate to the point of almost being able to feel the water, at times utterly apocalyptic and grand… to watch this movie is to take a journey through belief systems, through film… and to be brought along by cinematography that is at times unbelievably and absurdly beautiful. Meditative, violent, jarring, peaceful, luminous, ambitious, artful, heavy handed, graceful… it’s really an incredible film.

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