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Birds of Passage

Ciro Guerra

From the Oscar®-nominated team behind the genre-defying Embrace of the Serpent, comes an equally audacious saga centered on the Wayúu indigenous people during a crucial period in recent Colombian history. Torn between his desire to become a powerful man and his duty to uphold his culture’s values, Rapayet (José Acosta) enters the drug trafficking business in the 1970s and finds quick success despite his tribe’s matriarch Ursula’s (Carmiña Martínez) disapproval. Ignoring ancient omens, Rapayet and his family get caught up in a conflict where honor is the highest currency and debts are paid with blood. A sprawling epic about the erosion of tradition in pursuit of material wealth, Birds of Passage is a visually striking exploration of loyalty, greed, and the voracious nature of change.

“An epic and wholly original take on the cartel genre, a critique of capitalism that gains in depth and emotion by daring to begin from a place that isn’t simply outside of drug violence, but of capitalism itself.” Cinema Scope

“A riot of sound, color and widescreen imagery, courtesy of cinematographer David Gallego (who shot the monochrome Embrace of the Serpent and Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch, another apt frame of reference), the insights into the destabilizing impact of outside influences feel both credible and prescient.” Jason Wood, Mubi

“Guerra and Gallego’s film is no dusty period piece, it is wildly alive, yet it reminds us that no matter how modern we are, there are ancient songs our forebears knew whose melodies still rush in our blood.” The Playlist

“One could draw a delicate correspondence between the fate of the characters in Birds of Passage—culturally demolished by the search of profit—and the film itself, though the import of American filmic models undeniably enriches the movie’s expressive and political vigor.” Film Comment



  • 9/27 | 8:00PM
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