BIRDS OF PASSAGE
Pájaros de verano

Colombia, 2018
Directors: Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra

Wayuunaiki, Spanish, English and Wiwa with English subtitles | 125 min
International Hits / Indigenous Film From BC & Beyond

Monday, August 26 | 9 PM | Cinematheque
Saturday, August 31 | 8 PM | SFU Woodward’s

Documenting the true-to-life rise and fall of rival Wayuu clans in northern Colombia, the latest film by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent) is an unexpected take on the cartel genre. Raphayet (José Acosta) is captivated by Zaida (Natalia Reyes) at her “coming out” ceremony, and is determined to come up with the enormous dowry her mother and family matriarch, Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez), demand. The solution to his money woes appears when he and his friend Moisés (Jhon Narváez) meet up with some hippie Peace Corps volunteers who are looking for marijuana. As everyone’s wealth increases, so too does Moisés’ ego. When he targets Raphayet’s cousin’s clan, a rapid downward spiral ensues, bringing everyone along with it. Perfectly blending professional and non-professional actors, trappings of Western influence, and intricate Wayuu customs and attire, Gallego and Guerra’s Birds of Passage is a fascinating tale of Shakespearean proportions. -TIFF

Basada en una historia real que explica el origen del narcotráfico en Colombia, Pájaros de verano se sitúa en los años 70 cuando la juventud norteamericana abraza la cultura hippie y con ella, la marihuana. Esto provoca que los agricultores de la zona se conviertan en “empresarios” a un ritmo veloz. En el desierto de Guajira, una familia indígena Wayuu se ve obligada a asumir un rol de liderazgo en esta nueva empresa. La riqueza y el poder se combinan con una guerra fratricida que pondrá en grave peligro su familia, sus vidas y sus tradiciones ancestrales.


A textured and utterly unique re-imagining of the family crime saga… Exploring the sometimes invisible and sometimes direct transgressions of this particular Wayuu family, “Birds of Passage” offers a lesson about the destabilization of traditional modes of life and a fascinating glimpse into a little-understood community. —Christina Newland, Sight & Sound

Best Ibero-American Film, Ariel Awards, 2019
Best Film, Premios Fénix, 2018
Audience Award, Los Cabos International Film Festival, 2018
Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival, 2018

Filmography: El abrazo de la serpiente (2015), Los viajes del viento (2009)