"On Monday April 18th at McMenamins Theater at 5:30pm, BendFilm will present the first in a new series of programs entitled “In Case You Missed It…” This series will feature films that were part of last year’s festival that have been getting rave reviews. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENTi won 16 international awards, including one at Cannes, and 12 nominations, including Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. And at the popular Rotten Tomatoes website, it gets 99% on their Tomatometer!
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (d. Ciro Guerra,Columbia, 2016, 125 min) centers on an Amazonian shaman, the last survivor of his people, and two scientists who are searching the Columbian Amazon for a sacred psychedelic healing plant that attaches itself to rubber trees. Based on the real-life journals of an American biologist Richard Evans Shultes, who is revered as the father of modern ethnobotany, and the German ethnologist and explorer Theodor Koch-Grünberg, and the real-life ravages of colonial exploitation ruthless rubber barons, the film is part documentary and part poetry. And it is gorgeous. Shot along the border of Columbia and Brazil, the intrepid film crew had to content with snakes in the water and the likelihood of contracting horrible diseases. It is also shot in black and white, a surprising choice for a film set in a tropical rainforest, but it works by giving the jungle textures and depth that colors hide."