After his last movie–the trippy, transportive Embrace of the Serpent–became the first Colombian film ever nominated for an Oscar, director Ciro Guerra is back this year with another Academy Awards contender: Birds of Passage, which he co-directed with Cristina Gallego. The drama follows an indigenous family who gets involved in the drug trade in 1970s Colombia as the marijuana business booms. Ahead of a February release by The Orchard, the first U.S. trailer has now arrived.

Rory O’Connor said in his Cannes review, “Birds may follow the rise and fall narrative arc of basically every crime saga since Cagney and Edward G. Robinson began filling theaters in the early ‘30s, but by telling it from the indigenous perspective the filmmakers have made a movie not so much about myth-making and antiheros, but instead a fable about capitalism, lost heritage, and a death of the soul.”

Starring José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Carmiña Martínez, John Narváez, Greider Meza, José Vicente Cote, Juan Bautista Martínez, Miguel Viera, and Sergio Coen, see the trailer and poster below.

Torn between his desire to become a powerful man and his duty to uphold his culture’s values, Rapayet (Acosta) enters the drug trafficking business in the 1970s to secure a dowry to marry Zaida (Reyes) and finds quick success despite his tribe’s matriarch Ursula’s (Martínez) disapproval. Ignoring ancient omens, Raphayet and his family get caught up in a conflict where honor is the highest currency and debts are paid with blood.


Birds of Passage opens on February 13, 2019 in NY/LA and will expand in the following weeks.

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