7.9/10
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59 user 204 critic

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 »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 45 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Official submission of Colombia for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 88th Academy Awards in 2016. See more »

Quotes

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

Soundtracks

Dudamel: Let the Children Play (End)
by Nascuy Linares
© 2016 Plaza Mayor Company, Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
The Serpent's Haunting, Mystical, Poignant and Ethereal Embrace
1 August 2016 | by KissEnglishPastoSee all my reviews

......................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

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 cinematography 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!

10*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!


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