There are also occasional visual and verbal references to marijuana dealing.
Birds of Passage
In another scene a man chokes and retches as he eats a pile of dog faeces in exchange for money. There is no strong visual detail. Cut All known versions of this work passed uncut. Violence There are multiple shootings, some of which result in blood spurts. Injury detail There are occasional images of bloodied dead bodies strewn over the ground, some in pools of blood, after off-screen massacres or gun battles. Sex There is a brief scene of strong sex featuring mechanical thrusting detail and rear nudity.
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Share this! Once in the bluest of moons, we encounter a freshly minted classic that feels as if it has been around forever. An ethnographic tragedy that understood what was wise and what was foolish about Heart of Darkness, it became the first Colombian project to receive an Oscar nomination for best foreign film.
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Now working with Cristina Gallego , his wife and producer, Guerra has delivered another epic for the ages. Birds of Passage offers an odd and perfect blend of folk cinema and gangster Iliad. The American mainstream has had much to do with the drug conflagrations of the last 40 years — Scarface, Sicario, the novels of Don Winslow — but no previous work has engaged so thoroughly with the base of the ladder.
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Though not at home to sentimental notions of lost Edenic idylls, Guerra and Gallego take an indigenous people from humble isolation to extremes of wealth and corruption. It has rarely been told with such imagination.
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We begin, in the late s, with a tribal betrothal ritual that leads, after an elaborate dance, to Raphayet Jose Acosta asking for the hand of Zaida Natalia Reyes. Over the course of the picture, the film-makers — who worked closely with the Wayuu people of northern Colombia — tease out the complex gender politics of its subjects.
Women are not invited to the negotiating tables, but this remains a matriarchal society that puts figures like Ursula at the head of the family.
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Later, when weedy men quiver, she will be unflinching in her ruthlessness. Raphayet is required to provide an absurdly mountainous dowry: cows, beads, goats and so forth. Help comes when he and his pal encounter some Peace Corps hippies in search of marijuana.
They are astonished at how much profit they make. A few years later, Raphayet and his associates are flying gear out by the planeload.
Our hero becomes conspicuously wealthy, but he remains bolted to the tribal soil. Inevitably, Raphayet is violently parted from early associates, but it is in the succeeding generation the corruption really sets in. The narrative has many such superficial similarities to that of The Godfather. But the manner of telling sets it apart from that film and almost all others.
Review: 'Birds Of Passage' Is A Haunting Masterpiece
The grammar of the traditional action thriller has been replaced with a cautious, morally responsible tone that invites no celebration of violent outrages. What matters is how the killings alter the killer. Trucks arrive over the horizon as posses once did in westerns. The growing menace feels spiritual as well as practical.
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