HIFF Screens ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ at Parrish Art Museum

embrace of the serpent
Photo: Andrés Córdoba/Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

The Hamptons International Film Festival is continuing their 25 Years: 25 Films screening series with their 2015 HIFF selection Embrace of the Serpent, which will be shown on Friday, April 14 at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

The story is based on the real experiences of two Western scientists (played by Jan Bijvoet and Brionne Davis) who spend 40 years traveling deeper and deeper into the Amazon in search of the sacred Yakruna plant, which is believed to have incredible healing powers. They befriend a shaman named Karamakate (played by Nilbio Torres when young and Antonio Bolívar Salvador when old), who is the sole survivor of an ancient tribe. The film focuses on the link between the Western World’s search for knowledge and the ravages of colonialism that have done irreversible damage to Mother Nature and the indigenous way of life.

Director Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent has received critical acclaim, earning the film a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97% and a Metacritic score of 82. According to Rotten Tomatoes, New York Times calls it a “fantastical mixture of myth and historical reality.” TIME Magazine praises the director’s artistic vision stating that, “Guerra captures the glory of every leaf, every inch of sky, in pearlescent black-and-white as luminous as the lining of a clamshell.” New York Magazine praises the film for not only showing the “poisonous effects of colonialism on indigenous populations and their ecosystems,” but doing so in a way that is more “unusually invigorating” than other films like it.

The Hamptons International Film Festival started the 25 Years: 25 Films screening series to celebrate their 25th anniversary. HIFF films from 1993 to 2016 are being shown in several venues across the Hamptons, and even some outside of New York. The weekly screenings began in February and will conclude with the 25th Annual Film Festival in October. Occasionally, screenings will include exclusive Q&As with filmmakers and actors, such as last week’s Judy Berlin screening, which included an appearance from lead actress Edie Falco.

The next film in the series is the 2004 HIFF selection Kinsey, which will be shown on Thursday, April 20 at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

The Embrace of the Serpent (125 minutes) starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 14 at the Parrish Art Museum (279 Montauk Highway) in Water Mill. Tickets are $20 ($5 for Parrish members) and can be purchased here.

To learn more about the 25 Years: 25 Films Screening Series, visit the HIFF website here.

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