Every year the hubby and I watch a thoroughly depressing and/or hopeless film on Thanksgiving to underscore the “you need to be grateful” concept. It works. Embrace of the Serpent directed by Ciro Guerra was up to bat this year.
The cinematography in this film was excellent. Filming in black and white allows you to see the care taken in each shot. I also loved the recurring shots of the roaring river, which is like the life-force of the jungle.
This film offers a lot to swallow in terms of colonialism, indigenous rights and cultural development, and how people of modernity can or cannot return to the earth. I’m still processing a lot of it: both what the film presents and my own struggles living in a country with no respect for people of color and their respective cultures.
I would definitely recommend giving this a watch. It is long and quiet in pacing, so plan for that in terms of company (we had a chatty houseguest : I ) and snacks. I’m not sure this will make it into the Bleak Bible, which is our list of Thanksgiving-Acceptable films, but time will tell. Sometimes the hopelessness kicks in later ala Requiem for A Dream.
May your bellies always be full!