Directed by: Ciro Guerra
Total Runtime: 123 min
Country of Origin: Colombia
Best Foreign Language Film Nominee, 2016 Academy Awards; Official Selection: Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival.
“At once blistering and poetic, not just an ethnographic study but also a striking act of cinematic witness.”
Tracking two parallel odysseys through the Amazon separated by over 30 years, this historical epic offers a heart-rending depiction of colonialism’s impact on indigenous culture. In 1909, ailing German explorer Theodor Koch-Grünberg arrives at river’s edge, where the young shaman Karamakate — supposedly the last member of his tribe – waits warily. Theodor is searching for an exceedingly rare flower that he believes could cure him of his fatal illness; in exchange for Karamakate’s help, he promises to lead Karamakate to other surviving members of his tribe. The journey takes them over rivers and through jungles ravaged by European infringement and introduces them to the indigenous victims of European ambitions. 31 years later, in 1940, American explorer Richard Evans Schultes conducts his own search for the elusive flower in the company of an older Karamakate in a landscape now brutalized by the rubber trade.