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Embrace of the Serpent


Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize

Embrace of the Serpent won an award at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight. This marks director Ciro Guerra’s first film at the Sundance Film Festival.

In 1909, Karamakate, a reclusive shaman in the Amazon, is sought out by sick German scientist Theodor Koch-Grünberg, seeking a cure for his condition. Resentful yet curious of the white man’s knowledge of his lost tribe, Karamakate agrees to lead him to the rare, sacred yakruna plant that can heal him. The men navigate the serpentine river and uncover secrets of the jungle surrounded by the impending savagery of colonialism. Forty years later, a similar scene unfolds when an American, basing his expedition on Koch-Grünberg’s published diary, encounters Karamakate and unknowingly asks him to fulfill this unfinished mission.

Remarkably merging past and present, Embrace of the Serpent enlightens us through the dialogue generated between two tribes divided by their great cultural distance. With spellbinding black-and-white cinematography, and hovering camera used to heighten the lure and vibrations of the Amazon, filmmaker Ciro Guerra has ventured deep to create a masterpiece of cosmic dimensions that invokes the memory of Earth’s forgotten civilizations.

YEAR 2015

SECTION Spotlight

COUNTRY Colombia

RUN TIME 125 min

LANGUAGE Spanish/Portuguese/German/Latin/Catalan

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY Oscilloscope Laboratories

WEBSITE oscilloscope.net

EMAIL info@oscilloscope.net

PHONE (212) 219-4029



Artist Bio

Ciro Guerra

Ciro Guerra was born on Río de Oro (Cesar, Colombia) in 1981 and studied film and television at the National University of Colombia. At the age of 21, he wrote and directed his first feature La Sombra del Caminante. His second feature, Los Viajes del Viento, was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Embrace of the Serpent is his third film selected as Colombia's submission for the foreign language film Academy Award.