Appearance by codirector Cristina Gallego

Epic in scope and meticulously detailed, Birds of Passage documents the true-to-life rise and fall of rival Wayuu clans in northern Colombia. Rapayet (José Acosta) is determined to marry Zaida (Natalia Reyes), but getting the enormous dowry her mother Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez) demands requires strategizing. When Rapayet procures marijuana for Peace Corps volunteers, the meeting becomes a source of great wealth and great conflict. Working with professional and nonprofessional actors, directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra bring to life a little-known culture, as they gorgeously detail the consequences of a tragic encounter.

“Numerous echoes of The Godfather ....” —San Diego Reader

“The glorious cinematography (hat tip to David Gallego) compliments the directors’ vision, making Birds of Passage a film that flies as high as its ambition.” —Detroit News

“The corrosive effects of the drug trade have been brought to tragic life on screens both big and small so often that there doesn't seem much new could be said on the topic. That’s where Birds of Passage vividly proves otherwise.” —Houston Chronicle

“A beguiling tale.” —Toronto Star

“It combines elements of Greek tragedy and crime family sagas where honor, vengeance, and codes of conduct dominate, along with a human personal tale of longing to belong.” — We Are Movie Geeks

• Read interviews with the filmmakers here and here.

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About the Speaker
Isabel Cristina Gallego Lozano was born in Bogotá in 1978. She graduated from the School of Film & TV of the National University of Colombia in 2003, and in advertising and marketing at the Politécnico Grancolombiano in 1999. Between 2003 and 2007 she worked as a producer of educational and cultural television at the National University of Colombia. In 1998, together with Ciro Guerra, she founded Ciudad Lunar, a company that produced the acclaimed feature films Wandering Shadows (2004), The Wind Journeys (2009), and Embrace of the Serpent (2015).

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Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra
Wayuu, English, and Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time
125 minutes
Digital, Color