10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent) (2016 Feature Film)

Marisol Gómez Mouakad | Puerto Rico, Mexico | 2016 | color | DCP | 90 min | Spanish, English | e.s.

Amazonia at the beginning of the 20th century. A time in which new territories are being mapped and local populations are oppressed. An unusual encounter takes place between two explorers and a shaman, who embark on a dangerous journey through the jungle together. Filmed in breath-taking black-and-white.

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. The film is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Place: CINEMA 2

Date: 7 April 2016

Time: 16:45

Duration: 2:00

Place: CINEMA 2

Date: 9 April 2016

Time: 21:15

Duration: 2:00

Place: CINEMA 2

Date: 10 April 2016

Time: 16:00

Duration: 2:00

Year in



Ciro Guerra


David Gallego


Jan Bijvoet
Brionne Davis
Nilbio Torres
Antonio Bolívar
Yauenkü Migue
Nicolás Cancino
Luigi Sciamanna




Etienne Boussac
Cristina Gallego




122 min


Nascuy Linares


Cristinia Gallego

Production Company

Ciudad Lunar Producciones

Production Design

Angélica Perea


Films Boutique


Ciro Guerra
Jacques Toulemonde

Sound Design

Carlos García

Year of Production



Ciro GUERRA (1981, Colombia) studied Film and Television at the National University of Colombia. At the age of 20, after directing four award-winning short films, he wrote, produced and directed La sombra del maninante (2004). His feature directorial debut was selected for film festivals worldwide and won numerous awards. Los viajes del viento/The Wind Journeys (2009) was Guerra’s second feature film. It competed in the Un Certain Régard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. El abrazo de la serpiente/Embrace of the Serpent (2015) is his third feature film.



(selection) La sombra del maninante (2004), Los viajes del viento/The Wind Journeys (2009), El abrazo de la serpiente/Embrace of the Serpent (2015)