Embrace of the Serpent
In the Amazonian jungle in the early 1900s, the German explorer Theo and his guide Manduca meet the shaman Karamakate. Theo has been in Amazonia for a long time already, but is very ill and in search of a rare medicinal plant. The shaman, whose people were murdered and displaced by white men, accompanies the two in the hope of finding surviving members of his tribe. What follows is a physically and mentally enervating and exhausting journey across the river, shot in breathtaking black-and-white images.
The journey reveals the influence of Western greed and missionary zeal in this previously unspoilt territory. The scenes are intercut with images of an expedition that takes place decades later, when a young American is confronted with an aged Karamakate. The film exudes grief over a lost civilization, whose unique insights and relationship to nature have so much to teach the Western world, especially now. In 2016, the film was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Winner Hubert Bals Fund Dioraphte Award 2016.