Skip to content

Directed by Ciro Guerra

Colombia 2015 125 mins.

Crosscutting stories set decades apart, Guerra weaves two parallel journeys between a lone Amazonian shaman and western scientists in search of ancestral knowledge deep into the Amazon. Karamakate is the last survivor of his tribe and, despite incursions by missionaries and plunderers, becomes a guide for two scientists in search of the rare and sacred yakruna plant, first in 1909 then 1940. With stunning black and white cinematography capturing spectacular rainforest landscapes, Embrace of the Serpent serves both as a hallucinatory adventure film and a damning indictment of colonial destruction of indigenous cultures. Best Film, Mar del Plata Film Festival.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.