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Birds of Passage(Pájaros de verano)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Colombia, Denmark, Mexico
·
2018

2h 5m

Director Cristina Gallego
Starring Carmiña Martínez, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez, Greider Meza

Genre Drama

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Torn between his desire to become a powerful man and his duty to uphold his culture’s values, Rapayet enters the drug trafficking business in the 1970s and finds quick success despite his tribe’s matriarch Ursula’s disapproval. Ignoring ancient omens, Rapayet and his family get caught up in a conflict where honor is the highest currency and debts are paid with blood.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

79

TheWrap by Ben Croll

This is a story about power, but it’s also a story about place. More than that, you’ve really got to see it to believe it.
75

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

While it never reaches the psychedelic heights of Guerra’s previous effort and relies on a more conventional pattern of events, Birds of Passage delivers another fascinating tone poem about Colombia’s fractured identity.
100

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Guerra and Gallego’s film is no dusty period piece, it is wildly alive, yet it reminds us that no matter how modern we are, there are ancient songs our forebears knew whose melodies still rush in our blood. We are not creatures of one era or another or of one place or another, we are only ever birds of passage between our mythic pasts and our unwritten futures, being tossed around by the wind
80

The Guardian by Jordan Hoffman

In the most reductive way, it is another mafia story. But as with their previous film, it is the specificity that counts, and while certain genre tendencies prevent the narrative from truly unmooring, hardly a scene goes by without something fundamentally familiar being rendered in a unique fashion.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

The drama feels a bit leisurely and distant at times, and the film runs a little long, yet it intelligently and assuredly explores how longstanding traditions can be gradually upended by drugs, money and outside influences.
100

CineVue by Martyn Conterio

Birds of Passage is an enthralling, powerful statement and lamentation on the drugs trade’s inevitable encroachment upon on indigenous peoples and how gangsters casually destroyed them.
90

Variety by Peter Debruge

Few films have captured quite so powerfully the tension between the old and new worlds — a feat Birds of Passage accomplishes while simultaneously allowing audiences to channel the Wayuu’s surrealistic view of their surroundings, where spirits walk the earth, and wise women interpret their dreams.
91

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

As effectively violent and entertaining as Birds may be, there is a real current of bitterness and tragedy running through it. That bitterness speaks not of the physical colonization we saw with the conquistadors and rubber barons of Serpent, but more of a sort of colonization of ideas.
90

Screen International by Wendy Ide

Notwithstanding the bleak trajectory down which any film about blood feuds must spiral, this is an engrossing narco-thriller which deftly balances the storytelling tradition of the Wayuu with the genre conventions of the crime movie and the western .

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