The Force at work / La Force en action

The Force at work / La Force en action
Read the whole story now being read around the world! / Lisez toute l'histoire maintenant lue autour du monde!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Embrace of the Serpent


Theodor Koch-Grünberg in the Amazon
Credit:Theodor Koch-Grünberg
I first heard of this Oscar Nominated Columbian movie this summer during the FNC ( Festival du Nouveau Cinéma ) , one of Montreal's most popular film festivals. It was on my must see list but I just now got to screen this delicious, violent, epic tale that transcends the surface story of the surviving Amazon shaman who encounters two scientific explorers of the west at two significant stages of his own life. The story pits human culture against the world. In the course of human evolution, man became so enamored with his potential that he even believed he could rule over God. This ageless battle is well illustrated in an encounter with a Capuchin monk who maintains an orphanage for boys in the heart of the jungle. This "religious man" beats the children into accepting his religion, denying them their birthright connection to the world, nature. Man has often been heard saying that he will dominate nature. Especially after natural catastrophes. Today, we have mastered many of her forces. You reading this phrase for example. But we are still reliving the very struggle this movie explores by taking us on the river with men of knowledge from two distinct cultures.

The director CIRO GUERRA was inspired by this photo on the right of THEODOR KOCH-GRÜNBERG, a German ethnologist who documented the lives of indigenous people of Brazil and who witnessed the particular magical bond that exists between human beings and nature:

"In this moment, it is not possible for me to know, dear reader, if the infinite jungle has started on me the process that has taken many others that have ventured into these lands, to complete and irremediable insanity.
If this is the case, I can only apologize and ask for your understanding, for the display I witnessed in those enchanted hours was such, that I find it impossible to describe in a language that allows others to understand its beauty and splendor; all I know is that, like all those who have shed the thick veil that blinded them, when I came back to my senses, I had become another man.” — Theodor Koch-Grünberg, 1907
Ciro Guerra is very adept at portraying on films the magical realism of South American arts. Here is a trailer of another film  The Wind Journeys where the tale revolves around a magical accordion.

Opens in the US this February 17th in Spanish/Amazonian languages with English Subtitles and in Canada:

Opens MARCH 11
MONTREAL - Cinema du Parc (3575 Avenue du Parc)

HALIFAX - Carbon Arc Cinema (1747 Summer St.)
TORONTO - TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W)
OTTAWA – Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St.)
EDMONTON - Metro Cinema (8712 109 St)
WATERLOO - Princess Theatre (6 Princess St W)

Opens MARCH 2
VANCOUVER - Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St)

Opens MARCH 4
SASKATOON - Broadway Theatre (715 Broadway Ave)

Opens MARCH 31
WINNIPEG - Cinematheque (100 Arthur St)

Festival Screenings
SALMON ARM - Shuswap International Film Festival (February 20&22)
KAMLOOPS - Kamloops Film Festival (March 12)
MONCTON - Moncton Film Festival (February 25-28)


Do take this magical journey with all its implications and challenges.


No comments:

Post a Comment