Birds of Passage

Birds of Passage

Cristina Gallego (2018)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Colombian director Ciro Guerra enjoyed festival success with The Wind Journeys (2009) and earned an Oscar nomination for breathktaking adventure Embrace of the Serpent (2015). Here, he shares directing duties with producer wife Cristina Gallego for this ambitious account of the impact of the drug trade on the Wayuu clan residing in the northern desert region of Guajira. Set during the period between the late 1960s and the mid-80s known as La Bonanza Marimbera, the action is convoluted and compelling as it spirals out from the courtship ritual that persuades Jose Acosta's Rapayet to start selling marijuana to the Americans in order to afford the dowry demanded by a fearsome matriarch for her daughter (Natalia Reyes). Unfortunately, Acosta's "alijuna" (or non-clan) partner (Jhon Narvaez) is a hot-headed maverick, whose reckless antics spark an inevitable internecine feud. Echoes of Sergio Leone, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma and Alexandro Jodorowsky reverberate, as Guerra and Gallego examine the damage to tight-knit communities caused by pre-cartel trafficking, and boldly blend western and gangster movie tropes with anthropology and magic realism to create a dramatically formulaic, but intoxicating audiovisual assault on the senses.

Cast & Crew

Ursula Carmiña Martínez
Rapayet José Acosta
Moises Jhon Narvaez
Zaida Natalia Reyes
Leonidas Greider Meza
Anibal Juan Bautista Martinez
Director Cristina Gallego
Director Ciro Guerra
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Other Information

Language: Wayuu, Spanish, Wiwa, English +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Curzon Artificial EyeGuidance: Violence, swearing, a sex scene, brief nudityReleased on: 17 May 2019