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Drug drama Birds of Passage : money hurts the spirits

The proud Wayuu subsidiary has its price. Thirty goats, and twenty cows, five necklaces and two mules calls for the head of the family Ursula as bride money fro

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Drug drama Birds of Passage : money hurts the spirits

The proud Wayuu subsidiary has its price. Thirty goats, and twenty cows, five necklaces and two mules calls for the head of the family Ursula as bride money from the young Rapayet. She has contributed to the candidate the Hand of your daughter Zaida from the beginning an uneasy feeling. The Yoluja, the souls of the dead, the spirits in the imposing Guajira desert on the eponymous Peninsula at the northernmost tip of Colombia around, have betrayed her. The matriarch (Carmiña Martínez) maintains an intimate connection to the spirits and animals, Remnants of indigenous traditions that have survived to the remote edges of the continent. "As long as there is family, there is respect," she explains Zaida (Natalia Reyes). "If there is respect, there is honor. As long as there is honor, there is the word. If there is the word, there is peace.“

This peace is nominated in the "Birds of Passage", the first joint Director of the Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra (2016, "The shaman and the snake" for the Oscar) and his longtime producer Cristina Gallego, disturbed. What looks superficially like the re-issue of the conflict between Tradition and Modernity, turns out on closer Inspection as a threat to the spirituality through the capital. In the sixties, the CIA fought in South America at the forefront of the communism, financed with money from the drug trade.

"Birds of Passage" is based on historical events

Rapayet (by José Acosta), in contrast to the family elders is not a Problem to do with Alijunas as Moisés (Jhon Narváez), a non-indigenous Colombians, and Gringos shops. Somehow he must find the bride-to-be money Yes. In the mountains of Santa Marta, where the family values of the Wayuu already organised clan structures with lots of contacts, have given way to Medellín, makes Rapayet a Deal with his Cousin, Anibal (Juan Martínez): coffee marijuana, the "Santa Marta Gold", which he sold to the Americans. Soon Rapayet and Moisés keep up with the supply. Money and violence seep into the community, the spirits are offended. "We have lost our soul," recognizes Rapayet too late.

"Birds of Passage" is based on historical events. "The Americans came during the Prohibition in Colombia," explains Cristina Gallego at the Meeting in Berlin, the background of the film. "During the Second world war, the opium trade was a correct shadow economy. The U.S. peace corps began for the marijuana to be interested in farming, they even brought their own seeds. But only with the cartels in Medellín and potash, the violence escalated in the eighties.“ Also the drug war in South America is a colonial narrative.

she sees a clear line of "The shaman and the snake", is about the journey of the German anthropologist Theodor von Martius, accompanied by the young Indians Manduca in the South American jungle to "Birds of Passage". The starting point is the idea to make a genre film was. "The history of Colombia," says Gallego, "has been written by the ruling class. In The shaman‘ we have told the story of the loser, the traditions of the indigenous cultures are still being felt today in society. With ,Birds‘ reflect this in the Codes of the gangster film.“

the success of The Netflix series "Narcos," which triggered a folkloric fascination for Pablo Escobar, has done many myths feed. "Basically, it started with 'Miami Vice'," says Gallego. "That Narcos' conveys a very one-sided picture of Colombia, in reality, the drug-related crime is a wound in our society. The tragedy comes in the Genre of the gangster film.“

drugs and money to decompose the community

The cultural Transfer to succeed the two Directors in a congenial way. Guerra, who has just turned off the Coetzee's adaptation of "Waiting for the Barbarians" with Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson, has established itself with four films as the outstanding Director of the world cinema. For him and Gallego Birds of Passage "means" according to the award-winning predecessor, a huge step. Moving from the teeming density of the jungle in the wind-blown Guajira-level, where the armed militias from Afar to announce. In the Isolation Rapayet resides with his family at the Prime of his Empire in the seventies, in a modernist Villa, which is radiant on the horizon.

But even if "Birds of Passage" in examples like "The godfather" served: Guerra, and Gallegos Film exists in a private, semi-permeable reality, however, is not against the deadly bullets ready. Elements of a particularly in the Latin American literature popular magical realism open the Plot for extrasensory perception, the eponymous Heron acts as an Ambassador of the spirit world. Drugs and money to decompose the community of Wayuu families, but it is a spiritual conflict that eventually leads to the material.

even More than the tragic Rapayet, braces with a moderate reason against the centrifugal forces of violence, the matriarch to the most complex figure. Ursula, played by a Wayuu family-derived Carmiña Martínez, interested Gallego: "Mostly the men talk about the heyday of the drug trade, so the female perspective is often too short. The Wayuus live in a Macho society in which women have to assert themselves.“ You could be one of these women find that their stories of Ursula is based on. Gallego: "I wanted to break the Genre through the matriarchal perspective."

The persistence of traditions makes the violence escalate

The contradiction in "Birds of Passage" at the end that only the Insistence Úrsulas on the Different traditions allows the violence to escalate. As in "The shaman and the snake" Guerra and Gallego, the colonial stereotype of the "noble Savage". The voices from the spirit world to help, perhaps, to a sharpened perception, but not necessarily to better decisions.

Rapayet on the other hand is a Survivor, his family was wiped out in a bloody tribal feud. He understands that violence is at the core, always has a ritual structure, whether in the struggle for honour, or in the drug war. "Rituals," says Gallego, "replace the rules of conduct and principles of faith." Against this symbol acts on the binding force of the family can do nothing more. Without words, no peace.

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Alice Hasters

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