Menu Film Forum

BIRDS OF PASSAGE

1:00   3:40   7:00   9:35

 Wednesday, February 13 – Tuesday, February 26

DIRECTED BY CRISTINA GALLEGO AND CIRO GUERRA

“Like an indigenous THE GODFATHER” (The Hollywood Reporter), BIRDS OF PASSAGE follows the emergence of the drug trade from the perspective of the narcotic-harvesting tribes of the Colombian Guajira desert. As American demand for marijuana grows in the 1970s, a cash bonanza hits Colombia, quickly turning farmers into hard-nosed businessmen. A Wayuu family discovers the perks of wealth and power, plus the dangers inherent in mixing greed, passion, and honor. A drug-trade fratricidal war puts at risk the family’s new-found status, their ancestral traditions, and their very lives. Directors Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego (creators of EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT) lend a vivid, colorful ethnographic grounding to this true story of the South American drug wars. “Superbly crafted. (A) Colombian crime epic. Both ethnographic chronicle and art-house thriller.” – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

COLOMBIA/DENMARK/MEXICO   2018   125 MINS. IN SPANISH AND WAYUU WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

THE ORCHARD

Reviews

“These days, with ‘Narcos’ on Netflix and LOVING PABLO in theaters, South American drug stories are a dime a dozen — or, maybe, 10 bucks a bag — but you’ve never seen one like BIRDS OF PASSAGE, a visually stunning and often surprising true story that charts the rise of the Colombian drug business back before Escobar from its unexpected roots, among an indigenous clan in way over their heads. Matching its artistic vision in anthropological value, this fresh take on a familiar genre — told from the point of view of the country’s Wayuu people — marks an ambitious follow up to the Oscar-nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT for helmer Ciro Guerra and producer Cristina Gallego… Few films have captured quite so powerfully the tension between the old and new worlds — a feat BIRDS OF PASSAGE accomplishes while simultaneously allowing audiences to channel the Wayuu’s surrealistic view of their surroundings, where spirits walk the earth, and wise women interpret their dreams. Whereas EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT luxuriated in period-appropriate black-and-white, BIRDS OF PASSAGE practically erupts with color. Coupled with an immersive sound design…the super-saturated visuals give the entire experience a heightened, hallucinatory quality, as if fellow South American director Alejandro Jodorowsky had applied his trippy sensibility to something of genuine ethnographic significance. South-of-the-border drug stories may be nothing new, but this one stands apart, taking on an almost folkloric dimension as it tracks the potential demise of an entire people.”
– Jay Weissberg, Variety

“GRIPPING. ENGROSSING. More accessible than EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, but crafted with the same skill and bone-deep sense of cultural authenticity.”
– Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

“Superbly crafted. Working again with DP David Gallego, whose stunning widescreen compositions recall the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, the directors set the story against a vast backdrop of desert and sea, with characters often dwarfed by the immensity of the landscape as if their lives were in the hands of the gods.”
– Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter