Embrace of the Serpent El Abrazo de la Serpiente

Embrace of the Serpent

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This film is not currently scheduled to screen at New Park.

The encounter, apparent betrayal and finally life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor of his people) and two foreign scientists.


Karamakate (Nilbio Torres and Antonio Bolivar) is a Shaman who lives by himself in an ultra-remote corner of the Amazon, since his tribe has been wiped out by white rubber barons. One day a canoe approaches the young Karamakate carrying a German anthropologist, Theo (Jan Bijvoet), who is deathly ill, and his loyal traveling companion, a one-time Amazonian slave named Manduca (Yauenku Migue).

Shot in stunningly effective black-and-white, which gives it an old-time documentary look, it captures the grandeur of the rain forest and the earthiness of Karamakate’s world. Sprirtuality is central to that world, and he has all sorts of mind-bending herbs (and philosophies) at his disposal. This is gripping, challenging, engrossing, from beginning to end. A seriously good film!

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