Embrace of the Serpent Film Review
Published in Grapeshot Magazine (Vol 8, Issue 7: Warhol, August 2015).
Set in the Amazonian jungle of Columbia, Embrace of the Serpent tells two stories following a shaman named Karamakate. The first follows him as a young man helping a sick and dying German scientist. In the second he is an older man helping an American scientist navigate the jungle. Both scientists seek a rare plant, yakruna, renowned for its mystical healing powers.
The film is embedded in the stories and culture of indigenous Amazonian people, and tells a deeply moving story. The majority of the movie is shot in black and white, which gives an authentic, historical feel. Where it succeeds most is its strong message of learning that it conveys. By the time the film reaches it's stunning climax, the viewer's mind is opened to a colourful world far removed from our own, that we have only just begun to understand. As Karamakate says, 'knowledge belongs to all', and you will be truly compelled to escape to this wonderful place.
Crio Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent shows unequivocal restraint and respect to the experiences of Amazonian indigenous peoples, and produces a compelling story full of loneliness, survivors guilt, dreaming and redemption.
Embrace of the Serpent Trailer