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  • Entertainment

MOVIE: Birds of Passage movie crosses cultural divides

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 7:00pm
MOVIE: Birds of Passage movie crosses cultural divides
MOVIE: Birds of Passage movie crosses cultural divides

NOT everyone is a fan of the subtitle. Watching a second-rate film is bad enough, but having to make the extra effort of reading those lines at the bottom of the screen can be an added irritation if the visuals are not up to scratch. 

No such worries exist with the new Colombian drama feature, ‘Birds of Passage’, which although it plays in Spanish and a native South American dialect, is worthy of your full attention and commitment. 

The broad story is one you might feel you’ve seen numerous times before, that of the Colombian drug trade, but this version is told in a very different way to the likes of the many tales featuring characters such as Pablo Escobar and his gang. 

‘Birds of Passage’ focuses more on the ancient traditions of the Wayuu indigenous tribe, and the manner in which one of their members, Rapayet (played by Jose Acosta) takes a foothold in the early stages of the developing drug trade. 

Rapayet soon becomes one of the business’s most powerful players, and what follows is less your typical glorification of drug trafficking, and more an exploration of how a thriving community can wage an internal war, and crumble in pursuit of material gain. 

The project is written, directed and produced by the same team behind Oscar nominated ‘Embrace of the Serpent’, with the cast consisting of relative unknowns this side of the Atlantic as well as non acting indigenous talent. 

This potential roadblock is swept aside, however, by the compelling story, rich cinematography and authenticity of the performances. 

For those of you who might want a break from the non-stop blockbuster action down at your local cineplex, we recommend you check out this realistic, slower paced but equally if not more compelling dramatic tale of family conflict and upheaval. 

To do so you’ll have to head over to the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar and let the good folk there look after you. You might just take to this subtitle shenanigans and make it your new home. 

We award Birds of Passage a review score of 4 addictive stars.

Paul O’Rourke  

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