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Birds of Passage (2018)

Pájaros de verano (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 13 February 2019 (USA)
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2:05 | Trailer
During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.

Writers:

Maria Camila Arias, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal (as Jacques Toulemonde) | 1 more credit »
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4,887 ( 991)
31 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carmiña Martínez Carmiña Martínez ... Úrsula
José Acosta José Acosta ... Rapayet
Natalia Reyes ... Zaida
Jhon Narváez Jhon Narváez ... Moisés
Greider Meza Greider Meza ... Leonídas
José Vicente José Vicente ... Peregrino (as José Vicente Cote)
Juan Bautista Martínez Juan Bautista Martínez ... Aníbal
Miguel Viera Miguel Viera ... The Pupil
Sergio Coen Sergio Coen ... Singing Shepherd
Aslenis Márquez Aslenis Márquez ... Indira
José Naider José Naider ... Miguel Dionisio
Yanker Díaz Yanker Díaz ... Leonidas as a Child
Víctor Montero Víctor Montero ... Isidoro
Joaquín Ramón Joaquín Ramón ... Gabriel
Jorge Lascarro Jorge Lascarro ... Sigifredo
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Storyline

During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Generations of tradition. Consumed by greed. (US release poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Ciudad Lunar | Official Facebook | See more »

Language:

Wayuu | Spanish | English

Release Date:

13 February 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birds of Passage See more »

Filming Locations:

La Guajira, Colombia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,082, 17 February 2019

Gross USA:

$507,259

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,517,349
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Some critics have compared the film favorably to other crime saga films like The Godfather, Scarface and the television series The Sopranos. See more »

Quotes

Minister: Your deeds will have to back up your words.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Acknowledgements include: "A Santa Marta, la Virgen de la Candelaria y de la Guadalupe. Al amor que todo lo puede." See more »

Soundtracks

El Caballo Liberal
Composed by Pacho Rada
Performed by Almer Mendoza (as Adalmer Mendoza), Edgar Britto (as Edgar Bruto), Jorge Brito, Javier Jiménez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
money, lives, culture
12 February 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. It's not unusual for movies to "trick" us into embracing a drug dealer, and even kind of rooting for them - despite the near universal condemnation of such folks when we are outside of a dark theatre. Co-directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra were the producer and director behind the Oscar nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPANT (2015) about an Amazon tribe striving to hold tight to their way of life despite outside interference. This time out, they focus on the rural Guajira territory of Columbia, with its desert conditions and villagers committed to their own traditions.

The film is based on a true story and covers the time period of 1960-1980, and is separated by chapter titles that include the year and a hint of what's to follow. We first see Zaida (Natalia Reyes) as a girl in confinement as she prepares to be introduced as a woman to the villagers. This is one of the more elaborate rituals of the village, and it leads to Rapayet (Jose Acosta) asking for Zaida's hand in marriage. Her mother Ursula, a respected village elder, sets the dowry at what she believes in an unattainable level for Rapayet: 30 goats, 20 cows, and 5 necklaces. Ursula has unwittingly set off a chain of events that eventually brings the family money, power, and tragedy. How can a few goats and cows cause this? Well, when one is poor and needs to quickly assemble a large dowry, what better way than to enter the drug trade? And that's exactly what Rapayet does.

Rapayet's friend and partner in the coffee trading business, Moises (Jhon Narvaez), joins him in the transition of careers, and while Rapayet is content to build his empire quietly and under the radar, Moises runs amok with the power and money. Ursula is respected for her abilities as a dream reader, and she's constantly dousing Rapayet's business with the cold water of her visions ... worried mostly about the safety of her daughter Zaida. By 1971, Rapayet's business of peddling marijuana to gringos is booming, and by 1979 (in a chapter entitled "Prosperity") we see the results: a mansion-fortress in the desert protected by guards with automatic weaponry (a sure sign that bad news is on the way).

What began as a look at peaceful remote villagers sticking to the traditional path of their ancestors, transforms into a drug war featuring cartel mobsters. Cinematographer David Gallego contrasts the beauty and simplicity of traditions with the danger and violence of new money and new world order. Leonardo Heiblum's score is a terrific complement as well. The infancy of the Columbian drug trade presented here conveniently places blame on the free-spirited youngsters of the Peace Corps; while the story plays out like a Greek tragedy, replete with mixed messages on revenge, capitalism, tradition, greed, and family ties. It's a rags-to-riches story that pulls no punches when it comes to the price paid for taking an illicit shortcut. It's a path that can destroy lives and culture.


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