Embrace Of The Serpent (El Abrazo De La Serpiente)

Ciro Guerra

Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela , 2015 / 125 min / Spanish, Indigenous languages with French and Dutch subtitles / Adventure, Drama

A tale of exploration, vividly reimagined from the indigenous point of view.

In collaboration with the Musée national d’Histoire naturelle.

“Embrace of the Serpent” tells 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 who, 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.

Ciro Guerra's masterful use of monochromatic black–and–white, stunningly symbolic landscapes, overwhelming soundscapes and haunting, elliptical editing blend together to elevate this ethnographic odyssey into a hypnotic and methodical work of pure cinema. (Landon Zakheim, American Film Institute Fest)

Fri 04/03 19:00 Ciné Utopia Spanish, Indigenous languages with French subtitles Public

“A visually mesmerizing exploration of man, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism, Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) marks an impressively realized third feature from Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra, featuring knockout black-and-white cinematography and an array of breathtaking locations.” Jordan Mintzer, Hollywoodreporter, 15/05/2015

“This gorgeous film flows like a dream into a nightmare, as we uncover the horrors of imperialism.” Jordan Hoffmann, Vanityfair, 19/05/2015

"Guerra’s stark allegory of the extinction of indigenous cultures at the hands of well-meaning but ignorant white Europeans is powerfully resonant in this gorgeously shot film, touted as the first feature to be shot in the Colombian jungle in over three decades." Nicholas Bell, Ioncinema

"Embrace of the Serpent"” is simply a work of art, and one of the most singular cinematic experiences […] It's an absorbing, even thrilling head trip. It is a Heart-of-Darkness voyage of discovery. It is a lament for all the lost plants and peoples of the world." Jessica Kiang, Indiewire, 17/05/2015

  • Nominated for the Academy Awards – Best Foreign Films
  • CIACE Art Cinema Award – Winner Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes International Film Festival, 2015 (France)
  • Best Film – Golden Astor, Mar Del Plata International Film Festival, 2015 (Argentina)
  • Eight Awards including Best Film, Macando Awards (Colombian Academy Awards), 2015 (Colombia)
  • Best International Film – Festival Award, Costa Rica International Film Festival, 2015 (Costa Rica)
  • Grand Jury Prize – Lima Latin American Film Festival, 2015 (Peru)
  • Best Film – Golden Peacock, International Film Festival of India, 2015 (India)
  • Special Jury Mention – Golden Duke, Odessa International Film Festival, 2015 (Ukraine)
Cast & Credits
Nilbio Torres, Antonio Bolívar Salvador, Jan Bijvoet, Brionne Davis, Yauenkü Miguee
Ciro Guerra, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal
David Gallego
Marco Salavarría, Carlos E. García
Angélica Perea
Nascuy Linares
Ciudad Lunar
NorteSur Producciones, Mc Producciones, Buffalo Films
Diaphana Distribution

Born in Río de Oro (Colombia) in 1981, Ciro Guerra studied the art of film at the Universitad Nacional de Colombia. His first two films, “Wandering Shadows” (2004) and “The Wind Journeys” (2009), were selected in many international film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastian, Rotterdam and Locarno, winning 40 international awards. His three feature films were all chosen as Colombia's entry for the Oscars and “Embrace of the Serpent” (2015) has been nominated in the Best Foreign Film category in 2016.

  • 2015 El Abrazo de la Serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent)
  • 2009 Los viajes del viento (The Wind Journeys)
  • 2004 La sombra del caminante (L'Ombre de Bogota)
  • 2001 Intento (short-movie)
  • 2000 Alma (short-movie)
  • 1999 Documental siniestro: Jairo Pinilla, cineasta colombiano (short-movie)
  • 1998 Silencio (short-movie)