It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Embrace of the Serpent was “inspired” by the diaries of two (white) explorers who both searched for yakruna in different eras: German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg in the early twentieth century, and, decades later, American biologist Richard Evans Schultes. As depicted in the film, both explorers are ill in their own way: “Theo” is physically sick, while “Evan” is metaphysically sick, having never once dreamed in his sleep. For both, yakruna is the supposed cure. Neither character is the film’s protagonist. It’s Karamakate, a shaman and the last of his tribe, who helps Theo and Evan during different periods of his life (old Karamakate is played by Antonio Bolívar Salvador, who is indeed one of the last of his people, the Ocaina). Karamakate isn’t a stereotypical “noble savage,” though. He condescends to his white companions at least as often as they do to him; as he says to Evan, “You devote your life to plants. That’s the most reasonable thing I’ve ever heard a white say.” And while he’s protective of the rainforest, Karamakate is so distrustful of outsiders that he’d rather watch it burn than let whites exploit it.
The film, which won the biggest prize at Cannes Directors' Fortnight and has left American critics breathless with praise, relays the same magnificent spirit of the jungle as in Werner Herzog's classic Fitzcarraldo, but this time tells its story from the indigenous perspective. It's a film that's constantly on the move through this vast, sacred jungle—a sort of psychedelic road trip by canoe—that deals with the history of colonial oppression, religion, and madness. What makes Guerra's film so moving and unique is how well it captures the immensity of the jungle and the incredible lives of the people who have existed there for centuries.
Ciro Guerra’s gorgeous picture just has that ripped-from-your-dreams sensibility, where surprising turns float alongside a story you feel like you’ve known your whole life. Embrace of the Serpent is the type of film we’re always searching for, yet seems so obvious once we’ve found it
originally posted by: HenryTrondheim
Saw this movie at a filmfestival a few years back. Absolutely stunning.
I really wanted this movie to be considered AS a best foreign picture at the academy awards, but I suppose the topics it raises is still a bit touchy.
originally posted by: TobyFlenderson
a reply to: waftist
It looks like it's available on Amazon Prime. If so, I will check it out tonight. Thanks so much for the heads-up. Looks very interesting and I'm so sick of the Hollywood film factory of drivel and cliche.