This is not a conventional film but an immersive journey into the heart of the Amazon, circa 1909. It is another film that will live on in the subconscious long after the details evaporate.
“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”
Embrace of the Serpent takes place in two time periods. The two episodes are linked together by several strands. What is different here is that the perspective relies heavily on a native shaman rather than on the white explorers.
I personally found the black and white Amazon to be dazzling, although some amateur filmmaking miscues crept in occasionally. Those would be examples of those details to be quickly forgotten.
More frustrating was the unclear plot line. The film does meander a bit in its purpose. Not a perfect movie, but with 99% critical approval on the Tomato site who am I to nitpick?