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Birds of Passage


Sharing directing duties for the first time, longtime collaborators Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent) returned to the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight this year with their epic mafia saga, Birds of Passage.

In the late 1960s, on the arid lands of the indigenous Wayúu people, a ceremony introduces potential suitors to Zaida, the daughter of Wayúu matriarch Ursula. By winning Zaida’s hand, the ambitious young Raphayet becomes a part of Ursula’s powerful family. When he and his business partner, reckless outsider Moises, stumble upon Peace Corps volunteers looking for marijuana, they start a lucrative drug-trafficking trade that absorbs and threatens to destroy the family.

Just as Embrace of the Serpent defied categorization, Birds of Passage is as audacious, original, and artful a mafia film as you’ll see, one that laments the corrosive power of capitalism and the loss of a more spiritual connection to nature. With its astonishing visual style, striking colors, and vivid sense of place, it’s as if The Godfather were transplanted to a matriarchal tribe in Colombia—with Ursula as the indelible mob boss.

YEAR 2018

CATEGORY Spotlight

COUNTRY Colombia/Mexico/France/Denmark

RUN TIME 125 min

LANGUAGE English and Spanish/Wayúu

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY The Orchard

WEBSITE http://theorchard.tv

EMAIL rfisher@theorchard.com

PHONE (323) 540-5473


Costume Design
Production Designer
Sound Design
Special Effects Makeup Artist
Assistant Director

Artist Bio

Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

In 2001, producer Cristina Gallego and director Ciro Guerra founded the production company Ciudad Lunar. Together, they produced Guerra’s features ​La Sombra del Caminante ​(The Wandering Shadows​); ​Los Viajes del Viento (The Wind Journeys)​; and ​El Abrazo de la Serpiente​ (Embrace of the Serpent), ​which became the first Colombian film nominated for an Academy Award​​ for best foreign-language film. Their films have screened at many of the world’s top film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the San Sebastián International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Festival del film Locarno, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Birds of Passage is the first film Gallego and Guerra have directed together.