Effortlessly weaving parallel narratives that occur on the same stretch of the Amazon, Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra tracks the devastation wrought by colonialism on this once-pristine, thriving environment.

In 1909, German explorer Theodor Koch-Grünberg and his guide enlist the help of young shaman Karamakate to help them find the elusive yakruna plant, whose healing powers they believe will cure the explorer’s illness. In 1940, in the region now ravaged by the rubber trade, American explorer Richard Evans Schultes searches for that same flower, accompanied by an older Karamakate.

Shot luminously in black and white, this sweeping historical drama underscores the rapid rate that the environment and ways of life are lost and forgotten in the name of industry and progress. This film was Oscar-nominated for best foreign language film in 2016.

Listen to a podcast interview with the director.


Watch on YouTube


Director
Ciro Guerra
Released
2015
Language
Spanish with English subtitles
Country
Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina
Running Time
125 minutes
Format
DCP, B/W