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Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

El abrazo de la serpiente (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 25 May 2015 (Colombia)
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The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

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1,041 ( 94)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 20 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Nilbio Torres ...
...
Theo
Antonio Bolivar ...
...
Evan
Yauenkü Migue ...
Manduca
Nicolás Cancino ...
Anizetto
Luigi Sciamanna ...
Priest Gaspar
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Storyline

The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 May 2015 (Colombia)  »

Also Known As:

Embrace of the Serpent  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$50,955 (USA) (19 February 2016)

Gross:

$1,320,005 (USA) (13 May 2016)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where a man is praised to be the Messiah is based on an actual event. See more »

Quotes

Old Karamakate: To become warriors, the cohiuanos must abandon all and go alone to the jungle, guided only by their dreams. In this journey, he has to find out, in solitude and silence, who he really is. He must become a wanderer dream. Many are lost, and some never return. But those who return they are ready to face what is to come.
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User Reviews

 
The Serpent's Haunting, Mystical, Poignant and Ethereal Embrace
31 January 2016 | by (Pasto, Colombia) – See all my reviews

It isn't much of a leap to venture that the vast majority of IMDb Users have never seen a Colombian Film. If there is a single word in the above Title that grabs you, rest assured, you must "EMBRACE" this Oscar-nominated gem by placing it at the top of your "Must See" List! Colombian Director Ciro Guerra (Los Viajes del Viento/read my Review) has taken an Amazonian Shaman's reality-based Dream and crafted it into a visionary cinematic hallucination for the ages!

The operative term here is "Culture-Clash". Two delicately intertwined story lines, both inspired by travel journals authored three decades apart by two Amazonian explorers; German scientist Theodor Koch-Grunberg (Jan Bijvoet, "Borgman"), in 1909, and by American amateur botanist Richard Evans Schultes (Brionne Davis, "Avenged"), thirty years later.

EMBRACE opens a gritty and convincingly realistic window into the Colombian Amazon Region of the early 20th Century. Guerra gets up close and personal with some of the persistent cultural atrocities perpetrated on indigenous peoples in the Amazon region of Colombia, without dwelling inordinately on them. As if the three plus centuries of Spanish Colonial Rule had not provided enough genocide and torture!

For those of you addicted to "Fast and Furious" pacing in movies, undoubtedly, will find EMBRACE a bit "Tedious and Slow", but I would say, "Deliberate and True to Life". One can, at best, barely imagine the laid-back life rhythms in remote regions of the Amazon a century ago! The intentional ever-so-slightly grainy Black & White cinemaphotography imbues EMBRACE with an authentic 1930's look and feel. Of course, there have been numerous critiques of thusly having deprived us of the myriad of Amazon shades of green…But EMBRACE is not a Travel Promo and I applaud Ciro Guerra's Black & White decision!

Here is a comment/comparison you probably might not see anywhere else: Although Director Ciro Guerra was born in 1981, I can't help but think that, as a kid, he saw and was influenced by Stanley Kubrick's 1968, "2001" (My Favorite Movie)! There were, in my opinion, a number of interesting parallels, confirmation of which I will leave up to you! Shaman Karamakate, the last survivor of his tribe (Nibio Torres-young/Antonio Bolivar-old) who has been chewed up and spit out as a lifelong victim of culture clash, and, as a result, defines himself as "chullachaqui", a walking empty shell zombie of a man.

EMBRACE is light years from being a feel-good movie, yet, there is a "spirituality and focus which can help you transcend even a worst- case scenario of mistreatment and misfortune in life", that is transformational and which provides ground swelling inspiration! This unique film would probably appeal to those who crave unusual true stories, those of you who enjoy Drama focused on a Clash of Cultures, and movies set in exotic locations!


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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