Embrace of the Serpent
El abrazo de la serpiente
2016, Ciro Guerra, Colombia, 125 min. With Nilbio Torres, Antonio Bolivar.
- Sat, Nov 5th 5:45pm
- Tue, Nov 8th 6:00pm
"This stunning historical drama...with its haunting river journeys and hair-raising episodes of Western colonists running amok, plays like an environmentalist’s remake of APOCALYPSE NOW." — J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Representations of the many indigenous peoples who lived in Latin America long before the Conquest date to the beginnings of the region’s film history. Some early examples, like José María Velasco Maidana’s WARA WARA (1930), reproduced contemporaneous racist worldviews of criollo society, while Sergei Eisenstein, in ¡QUE VIVA MÉXICO! (1931, unfinished), treated the indigenous as a potentially revolutionary class. The “new cinemas” of the 1960s and Third Cinema of the 1970s continued in Eisenstein’s footsteps by focusing on the daily life and systematic oppression of Indian populations. Filmed in black and white in the Colombian Amazon, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT represents how far this tradition has come: its protagonist is a proud shaman who convincingly shames the Western scientists who come to hunt down a rare species of rubber and medicinal plants. Part myth, part commentary on the ongoing exploitation of natural resources in the Amazon, this film is a powerful corrective to world film’s canonical stories of journey into the jungle, such as FITZCARRALDO and APOCALYPSE NOW. In Spanish and Amazonian tribal languages with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (Daniel R. Quiles)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8: Lecture by Daniel R. Quiles, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory & Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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