An epic drama about marijuana trafficking in Colombia that digs deep into the culture of the indigenous people involved. Critics call it ‘a masterpiece…absolutely extraordinary…a genuine knock-out’.
From the creators of the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s astounding Birds of Passage is an epic, visually exquisite story about the origin of the Colombian drug trade, told through the perspective of a proud indigenous family. It is the first Colombian film to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
Guajira, Northern Colombia, 1970s. Wayuu tribe-member Zaida has come of age, leaving formidable matriarch Ursula with the important task of finding a suitable match. Her instincts warn her against young Rapayet, an ambitious man with strong links outside of the clan, but the word of a respected uncle carries weight, so she succeeds, setting an outrageous dowry. The seed sown, Rapayet stumbles onto a plan with two flamboyant friends to sell marijuana to a visiting American. It is the beginning of a profitable new enterprise.
As the family rises to prominence, Ursula becomes increasingly complicit in her son-in-law’s business dealings, insisting traditional honour codes are respected and observed. But the trappings of wealth and power soon incite a war that threatens to tear them and their ancient traditions apart.
Once in the bluest of moons, we encounter a freshly minted classic that feels as if it has been around forever…An epic work of folk, gangster and other-worldly cinema. – The Irish Times ★★★★★
Startling and intriguing, it grafts quasi-ethnographic docudrama on to drug lord turf war epic. This is film-making that pushes the limits of storytelling and generic templates, and it’s brimming with images and ideas. – The Guardian ★★★★
An extraordinary, visually stunning crime drama. – The Independent ★★★★★
Colombia, 2018 | Language: Spanish | 125 minutes | Cert: 15A
Directors: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
Cast: Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez, Greider Meza, José Vicente Cote