BIRDS OF PASSAGE (2019)

A film by  Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Cast:  Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes 

In the 1970s, in Colombia, a Wayuu family of natives found themselves at the heart of the flourishing sale of marijuana to American youth. When the family honor tries to resist human greed, clan warfare becomes inevitable and endangers their ancestral lives, culture, and traditions. This is the birth of the drug cartels.

A girl named Zaida (Natalia Reyes) has just completed her ritual period of isolation and her people are celebrating her emergence, which symbolizes her readiness for marriage. And the prospect soon after the announcement tells her you “you are going to be my wife”  announced by Rapayet (José Acosta), from an other family. Zaida’s mother, Ursula (Carmiña Martínez), who seems to be the leader in her family , seems suspicious of Rapayet as soon as makes his intentions known.  She ask for a dowry that she seems to assume is way beyond the man’s means; it includes scores of goats and cows the main thing that one will ask as well as some valuable necklaces that are not easy to find. Not long after that he returns with all the dowry items. The way he enriched himself enough to afford his pretty and pricey bride is where the film’s crime story begins. Birds of Passage is based on actual events from the 1960s-’80s and is told in four chapters, followed by a epilogue.

The Wayúu family believes in traditions and also in ghosts and are superstitious. But the new young members does not believe in tradition and resist the old way of doing things. They value honor but soon became to understand that greed, power, violence and death will follow. The director here took an approach non Hollywood , they did not glorify the violence. The filmmakers avoided direct, up-close depictions of violence. Sometimes we see only its results. Here is an independent film done right which is how the cartel took over back in the day. Now days the Cartel is going to take a hit because Marijuana is beginning to be legal in some countries. Do not miss this one.

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