Oscar-nominated film features Native actors and Native languages

A scene from Embrace of the Serpent. Photo by Andrés Córdoba / Oscilloscope Laboratories

Embrace of the Serpent didn't win the Academy Award for best foreign-language film but the Colombian production is still drawing attention for its unique story.

The film, which was shot in black and white, includes dialogue in five Native languages that are spoken in remote areas of the Amazon. The cast includes Yauenkü Migue, Nilbio Torres and Tafillama (also known as Antonio Bolívar), who live in the Native villages where the story takes place.

Director Ciro Guerra also made sure to include other Native residents in the production. They worked on the film and helped guide the story, The Washington Post reported.

“What Ciro is doing with this film is an homage to the memory of our ancestors,” Torres, who made his first trip to Colombia's capital city as part of the production, said in an interview distributed to the Post by the filmmakers. “I always ask older people what things were like before, and it’s there in the film. That’s why we supported the effort when they were making the film. For the elders and for me, it’s a memory of our grandfathers.”

The film is slowly gaining wider release around the U.S.

Get the Story:
The Oscar-nominated Colombian film ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ marks the comeback of a nation and its cinema (The Washington Post 3/10)
Review: Black-and-white ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ paints vivid picture of life in the Amazon (The Washington Post 3/10)

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