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Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente)

  • The Farmers' Museum 5775 NY-80 Cooperstown, NY, 13326 United States (map)

Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra shot his Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent deep in the heart of Colombia’s Amazon jungle. Covering a span of three decades in the life of tribal shaman Karamakate, the story develops as two interlocked tales following the diaries of two explorers—German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg (1872-1924) and American ethno-botanist Richard Evans Schultes (1915-2001), each of them seeking the elusive, allegedly hallucinatory, Yakruna plant. Recorded during their independent expeditions, these annals are among the only surviving descriptions of tribes ultimately destroyed by either environmental damage or loss of traditional knowledge systems. “I look at the way the speakers of the native communities tell stories, and basically filmmakers do the same thing. We gather people around and tell narratives with light and shadow, just using different tools. I feel very connected to voices that come from thousands of years ago. So that’s my lineage, more than that of any explorers. . . . [My script] became more and more infused with Amazonian storytelling, with their myths, and then I realized it was no longer important to be accurate. I came to understand that imagination and dreams were as important to them as any fact.”—Ciro Guerra


$7 at the door

Earlier Event: November 13
Lunch Between Films
Later Event: November 13