Ciro Guerra continues to slither his way to the awards stage…
The 35-year-old film director and screenwriter’s critically acclaimed Embrace of the Serpent, which earned an Academy Award nomination, swept the 3rd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards on Sunday night in Uruguay, taking home seven of the eight categories for which it was nominated.
Although the awards had no clear favorite, Embrace of the Serpent, with Ixcanul, had scored the most nominations and its plaudit sweep did not seem to surprise many.
Shot in widescreen in 35 mm and in black and white Serpent claimed best picture, director, editing (Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego), art direction (Angélica Perea), original music (Nascuy Linares), cinematography (the film was shot by David Gallego) and sound (Carlos García, Marco Salavarría).
The story of Karamakate, a shaman who is the last survivor of his tribe and asked, 30 years apart, by two explorers – based on the figures of Theodor Koch-Gruenberg and Richard Evans Schultes – to help them discover the yakuna plant, Embrace of the Serpent charts the devastation of the Amazon by colonial powers, whether Colombian rubber companies or a crazed Spanish priest, but more particularly the loss of indigenous knowledge as whole peoples disappeared under the influx of invasion.
“The ravages of colonialism cast a dark pall over the stunning South American landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, he latest visual astonishment from the gifted Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra,” Variety wrote in its Cannes Film Festival review.
Ciro Guerre’s third movie has won a string of significant festival, Academy and pan Latin American awards, including a Mexican Silver Ariel, Fénix Film Awards, and plaudits at the Mar del Plata and Palm Springs fests, among others.
Platino acting awards went to two Argentine talents who most certainly deserve wider recognition, Dolores Fonzi, star of Santiago Mitre’s Cannes Critics’ Week winner Paulina, who plays a young lawyer who refuses to compromise her principles when raped while working as a rural teacher, and Guillermo Francella, who portrays a real-life family patriarch and psychopath in Pablo Trapero’s The Clan, who continues for personal profit Argentina’s Dirty War practice of kidnapping and murder after the fall of Argentina’s military junta.
A third Argentine actor, Ricardo Darin, took the Platino Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We have the talent. We just need to have confidence in ourselves,” Darin said on stage, receiving the plaudit. ”That’s why we and Ibero-America need these awards,” he added.
A searing but crafted indictment of the tribulations of a young pregnant and unmarried girl in rural Guatemala, Berlin Silver Bear winner Ixcanul, the feature debut of Jayro Bustamante, once more confirmed its audience appeal, at least with the who have seen it, taking the Platinos’ Audience Award, plus best first feature.
“Embrace of the Serpent,” (Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela)
Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
Guillermo Francella (“The Clan,” Argentina, Spain)
Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina,” Argentina)
Nascuy Linares (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
BEST ANIMATION MOVIE
“Capture the Flag,” (Enrique Gato, Spain)
BEST DOCU FEATURE
“The Pearl Button,” (Patricio Guzmán, Chile, Spain)
Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos (“The Club”)
“Ixcanul” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, France)
Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
Angélica Perea (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
David Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
Carlos García, Marco Salavarría (“Embrace of the Serpent”)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
PLATINO AWARD FOR FILM AND EDUCATION IN VALUES
“The Second Mother,” (Anna Muylaert, Brazil)
“Ixcanul,” (Guatemala, France)
Penélope Cruz (“Ma ma,” Spain)
Ricardo Darín (“Truman,” Spain, Argentina)