Documenting the true-to-life rise and fall of rival Wayuu clans in northern Colombia, the latest film by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent) is an unexpected take on the cartel genre. Raphayet (José Acosta) is captivated by Zaida (Natalia Reyes) at her "coming out" ceremony, and is determined to come up with the enormous dowry her mother and family matriarch, Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez), demand. The solution to his money woes appears when he and his friend Moisés (Jhon Narváez) meet up with some hippie Peace Corps volunteers who are looking for weed. As everyone’s wealth increases, so too does Moisés’ ego. When he targets Raphayet’s cousin’s clan, a rapid downward spiral ensues, bringing everyone along with it.
Perfectly blending professional and non-professional actors, trappings of Western influence, and exquisite, colourful Wayuu attire, Gallego and Guerra’s Birds of Passage is a fascinating tale of Shakespearean proportions.
BBFC Advice: Contains strong violence, bloody images, sex.
Running Time: 2hrs 6mins
BBFC Advice: 15
Director(s): Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra
Country of Origin: Colombia, Denmark, Mexico and France
Year of release: 2019
Language(s): English; Spanish and Wayunikee with English subtitles