Birds of Passage

Screening on 17/04/20

Colombia 2018
Dirs: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
Starring: Jose Acosta, Carmiña Martínez, Jhon Narváez
Cert 15
125 mins

An ancient, isolated culture with its arcane beliefs and rituals is at the heart of this latest feature from the director of The Embrace of the Serpent. Set mainly in the 1970s amongst the Wayuun tribe in a remote region of NW Colombia, the film depicts the dire consequences of the introduction of a ‘get rich quick’ mentality into the hitherto peaceful indigenous people. In this matriarchal society, in order to marry the beautiful Zaida, the ambitious Rapayet must pay her mother a considerable dowry – far more than he can afford. It is then that he makes the fatal decision to start dealing in marijuana with the aid of a distant cousin Aníbal who grows the plant. Selling to Americans, Rapayet earns enough money to marry Zaida, and over the years builds up a lucrative business. But it all comes at a terrible cost to the traditional Wayuu way of life.