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Cinema: Embrace of the Serpent
Monday 3rd October, 2016 - 20:00€6
As rich visually as it is thematically, Embrace of the Serpent offers a feast of the senses for film fans seeking a dose of bracing originality.
Tracking two parallel odysseys through the Amazon, this historical epic from Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra offers ethno-botanical adventure, mysticism, and a heart-rending depiction of colonialism laying waste to indigenous culture. In 1909, an ailing German explorer enlists the help of a young shaman in his search for a rare flower that he believes could cure him of his fatal illness. Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative set in the same region in 1940, an American explorer conducts his own search for the elusive flower in the company of the same, now aged shaman in a landscape brutalized by the rubber trade. Recalling such visionary films as Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man and Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God, this elegiac adventure story surveys a vanishing way of life and the natural world that we neglect (and abuse) at our peril.