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Colombian cinema lands in Ireland

The Colombian Film Festival taking place in Dublin from Thursday 25 May will bring a fine selection of films from recent years to the Instituto Cervantes.


LaSirga_PromocionalTheodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evans Schultes are two humanists – with a 40-year age difference – who went into the jungle in search of a sacred plant.

Both wrote travel journals which were used by Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra to bring to life “Embrace of the Serpent”, a film which in 2016 became the first Colombian film to compete for the Oscar for best foreign film.

Impeccably made and filmed completely in black and white in the Amazons, the filmmaker opted to mix professional and natural actors. For this, he chose Antonio Bolívar, Nilbio Torres and Miguel Dionisio Ramos, three natives who play the protagonist –Karamakate– in three different stages of his life.

For their part, the actors Jan Bijvoet and Brionne Davis (Belgian and American respectively) play both explorers, speaking languages as diverse as, Latin, Portugues, Spanish, German, Catalan, Cubeo. Tikuna and Huitoto. The film marks another milestone as it was the first film in more than 30 years to be made in the jungle after “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, w rath of God”, both by the German director Werner Herzog.

“Embrace of the Serpent” is one of five films that will be shown at the Colombian Film Festival organised by the Instituto Cervantes in Dublin, which shows the quality of the seventh art in this country. The screenings will be accompanied by discussions with attendees to deepen their analysis.

The first in this cycle will be “Land and shade” (2015), a film written and directed by César Augusto Acevedo which won the Caméra d’Or award at the Cannes film festival.

AbrazoDeLaSerpiente_PromocionalThis will be followed by “Los hongos” (2014), a film set in Cali –the home town of director Óscar Ruiz Navia– which recounts the story of two graffiti artists, showing their hardships in the city.

Gente de bien” (2014), arrives next having participated in almost 50 film festivals around the world. “The Towrope”, coproduced by Colombia, France and Mexico, shows some of the violence existing in rural areas in Colombia.

“I wanted to show the conflict and all the violence in the Colombian countryside, but without presenting it in a direct manner. It was a gamble to have the subject of war take place outside of the scenes”, noted its director, William Vega.

Dates: 25 May, 6.00 pm: “Land and Shade”. 8 June, 5.30 pm: “Los hongos”

22 June, 6.00 pm: “Gente de bien”. 13 July, 5.30 pm: “The Towrope”. 20 July, 6.00 pm: “Embrace of the serpent”. Location: Instituto Cervantes and Pearse Library, Dublin. More information and details here.

Photo credits: Promotion from the films  –   (Translated by Sydney Sims – Email:


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