El abrazo de la serpiente
Colombia, 2015
Cubeo, Huitoto, Wanano, Tikuna, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Catalan, Latin with English subtitles/ 125′
Director: Ciro Guerra





Thursday, Sept-1
3 PM | The Cinematheque
Saturday, Sept-3
7:15 PM | SFU Woodward’s

At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the spectacular Amazonian landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, the third feature by Ciro Guerra. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, the film centres on Karamakate, a shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers, Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes, who travelled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. In 2016, Embrace of the Serpent was the first Colombian film ever to be nominated to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

“A visually mesmerizing exploration of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism.’’ Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter


El abrazo de la serpiente cuenta la épica historia del primer contacto, encuentro, acercamiento, traición, y posible amistad que trasciende la vida, entre Karamakate, un Chamán Amazónico, último sobreviviente de su tribu, y dos científicos que con cuarenta años de diferencia, recorren el Amazonas en busca de una planta sagrada que podría curar sus males. Inspirada en los diarios de los primeros exploradores que recorrieron la Amazonía Colombiana, Theodor Koch-Grunberg y Richard Evan Schultes. En el 2016, El abrazo de la serpiente fue nominada a los premios Oscar y se convirtió en la primera cinta colombiana en recibir esta nominación en la historia.

“Gigantesca y poética, no sólo un estudio etnográfico, sino también un acto sorprendente de testimonio cinematográfico …” Justin Chang, Variety

Producer: Cristina Gallego
Writers: Ciro Guerra, Jacques Toulemonde
Cinematographer: David Gallego
Editors: Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego
Cast: Antonio Bolívar, Brionne Davis, Jan Bijvoet, Nilbio Torres, Yauenkü Miguee

Ciro Guerra (Río de Oro, Colombia, 1981) is one of the most highly acclaimed Colombian directors working today. His films include The Wandering Shadows (2004) and The Wind Journeys (2009), which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, Embrace of the Serpent won the Art Cinema Award in the Directors’ Fortnight section at Cannes.