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!
Whew! This movie…
There seems to be a recent trend of including long, really long, shots of the Great Wilderness to help slow a film down or transition to a new scene. Here are my feels about it: 1) They’re beautiful. You get to see all the gorgeous parts of a landscape during the time of year that makes it so, without all the BS of having to live in it all the other days 2) This makes the film so friggin long. My husband and I, unfortunately, decided to go see this one on like a senior discount day or something because the theatre was PACKED with the elderly and I was not willing to navigate through them to go to the bathroom partway through, sooo the whole unnecessarily long thing was probably more prevalent than it would have been otherwise.
But onwards. This film was great. It is definitely going in the “Bleak Bible” that I have started as an ongoing list of desperately depressing and/or hopeless movies to be rotated through on Thanksgiving (you know to feel more thankful…). Some of the more gory parts were a little hard to sit through, but it was worth it. The universe’s constant beating down on this poor man’s life was a hilarious parallel to Leo’s elusive Oscar–which verged on purposeful as he breaks the fourth wall in the closing shot with a clear, but unspoken “Feed me Seymourrrr!”