Embrace of the Serpent

Adventure History Drama


A European scientist travels the Amazon with a shaman seeking a sacred healing plant, forty years later another scientist follows in his tracks.

This is a story that engages intellectually with the dilemmas and transgressions of colonisation. Two worlds collide and our understanding of civilisation seems a bit limited. The tale is narrated with a heavy reliance on symbolism which fails to leave room for an emotional connection with the characters. Even so, "The Embrace of the Serpent" is thought provoking, and the black and white cinematography creates a memorable and appropriately mythic tone. Plenty of snakes and no ladders.

Anne Murphy

MIFF 2015
Palace Films 124 mins

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