'Birds of Passage,' by world-renowned Colombian directors Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, is taking center stage at the Directors' Fortnight 50th anniversary Wednesday.
The couple is bringing Colombia's Indigenous communities to the silver screen in an epic crime drama set in the northeast region of Guajira.
The drama tells the story of the international drug trade during the 1970s, weaving Native American Wayuu legends with the intense relationships of the trafficking industry.
Directed by the brains behind 'Embrace of the Serpent' (2015), the movie begins in the late 1960s with the protagonist participating in an Indigenous 'coming out' party for the beautiful Zaida (Natalia Reyes).
To win her hand, Rapayet (Jose Acosta) dives into the world of drug trafficking and is ultimately made to pay the price.
"In addition to necklaces, talismans and doctrinal codes of communication (to be a word messenger seems like a good gig), there is a dialogue with the natural world. I've never seen a more beautiful flying cricket than the one in this film," one Guardian reviewer writes.
Among the other films to debut during the ten-day event is 'El Motoarrebatador.' Opening with the brutal robbery of an elderly woman, Argentine director Agustín Toscano tells the complicated story of a man who turns from a life of crime to care for his victim after discovering his actions caused her to lose her memory.
Beginning as an underground alternative to the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, the Directors' Fortnight stands out for its adventurous approach to film selection. Revered for its rebellious roots, the event earned its place in the Cannes festival in the late 1960s.
"It was a utopia at the same time political and cinematographic, people thought that cinema could change the world," said Edouard Waintrop, general director of the celebrations.