After the Iraq-Iran war ended in 1988, a blind mother welcomes her estranged daughters to tell them a secret. Unfortunately, she accidentally dies while professing it. During the funeral, the daughters try to deal with their mother’s sudden death while at the same time; they work together to unveil her secret by looking for clues from visitors. Throughout, their own lives continue to unravel, giving room for buried family tensions to gradually surface while struggling to deal with their own secrets and deep-rooted guilt. All of a sudden, the daughters start to question everything about their mother’s life after a peculiar encounter with one of her past female lovers, to the shock of the family.
At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, the third feature by Ciro Guerra. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, SERPENT centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. The film was nominated for an Academy Award® under the Best Foreign Film category.