Although Colombian director Ciro Guerra didn’t walk away with an Oscar for Best Foreign Film at the last Academy Awards ceremony, his film Embrace of the Serpent is a winner. It spins a poetic yarn around an Amazonian shaman named Karamakate, the last remaining member of his tribe, who travels along with two different scientists on the search for the rare yakruna plant over a forty-year span. Told in stunning black and white cinematography and based on the very real diaries of scientists Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evan Schultes, Embrace of the Serpent extols indigenous heritage whilst decrying the horrors of colonialism that have gone on to shape South America’s cultural history. In the world of cinema depicting places (and peoples) outside of the Western gaze, this one’s a must-see.
March 11-17, 2016
Aimee Murillo is calendar editor and frequently covers film and previously contributed to the OCW’s long-running fashion column, Trendzilla. Don’t ask her what her favorite movie is unless you want to hear her lengthy defense of Showgirls.