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Embrace of the Serpent (2015)

El abrazo de la serpiente (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 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 forty years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

Director:

Ciro Guerra

Writers:

Ciro Guerra, Theodor Koch-Grünberg (based on the diary by) (as Theodor Koch-Grunberg) | 2 more credits »
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4,574 ( 2,091)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 46 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Nilbio Torres ... Young Karamakate
Antonio Bolivar ... Old Karamakate (as Tafillama-Antonio Bolivar Salvador)
Jan Bijvoet ... Theo
Brionne Davis ... Evan
Miguel Dionisio Ramos Miguel Dionisio Ramos ... Manduca (as Yauenkü Miguee)
Luigi Sciamanna Luigi Sciamanna ... Priest Gaspar / El Missionero
Nicolás Cancino Nicolás Cancino ... El Mesias
Pediwake Daniel Martinez Pediwake Daniel Martinez ... Santiago
José Sabogal José Sabogal ... El Siringuero
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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 forty years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

25 May 2015 (Colombia) See more »

Also Known As:

Embrace of the Serpent See more »

Filming Locations:

Vaupés, Colombia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$50,955, 21 February 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,329,249

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,411,541
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'serpent' in the film's title refers to the Amazon River that flows through South America, winding its way across like a snake. Karamakate even refers to the river as the "son of the anaconda". Thus the main title refers to the journey of the protagonists on their trek through the wilderness in the arms of the river. See more »

Quotes

Young Karamakate: Knowledge belongs to all. You do not understand that. You are just a white man.
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Soundtracks

LLAMADO
Written by Carlos Gustavo Fernández (aka Carlos Gustavo Fernández Ostor) and Juan Felipe Pardo (autores)
Performed by Carlos Gustavo Fernández (aka Carlos Gustavo Fernández Ostor) and Juan Felipe Pardo
(Interpretado collectively as Shishaja)
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User Reviews

 
World cinema at its best
20 March 2016 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Embrace of the Serpent" (2015 release from Colombia; 125 min.) brings the story of two explorers who, 3 decades apart (1909 and 1940, respectively) explore the Amazon region, albeit with very different motives. They both end up enlisting the help of the same man, Karmakate, one of the few remaining shamans.

Couple of comments: first, it takes a while to fully understand and grasp what is really happening, and that the local is the same man, simply 30 years older than before. It eventually also becomes clear that this film calls out "the white man" for what he has done to the jungle and the indigenous peoples. At some point Theo (the first explorer) and his two travel mates come to a Mission, where a priest runs things. Later on, the effects of the 'rubber wars' become all too clear. Second, the movie is shot in gorgeous black and white. This is the second film in a row that I've seen in theaters that is in B&W, what are the chances? (the other film was "Creative Control"). Third, Belgian actor Jan Bijvoet gives a truly stunning performance as Theo. You will be blown away. "Embrace of the Serpent was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. While it didn't win ("Son of Saul" did), it doesn't diminish anything of the intrinsic quality of this film. With that, I've now finally seen all 5 nominees in the Best Foreign Language Movie Oscar category, and I am amazed at the collective talent in those 5 movies.

"Embrace of the Serpent" opened last weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Sunday early evening screening was attend quite nicely, much better than I had expected. It confirms that there is a market for this type of top-notch quality foreign movie. Truly world cinema at its best. If you get a chance to check it out, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, do not miss it! "Embrace of the Serpent" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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